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Travelling to students


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#1 Misterioso

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 18:41

I appreciate that this has been discussed before, and up until now I have only been travelling out to one lady student, whom I don't charge as she is a pensioner, and the time I take travelling to her wouldn't be taken up by another student as it is during the day. However, it could potentially now rise to up to three students per week.

 

I'd really like some feedback on what people charge.When I went out to people before, I just used to charge a flat rate of £2 per trip (which doesn't even cover my fuel if I'm doing a 14-mile round trip journey), and am reluctant to charge more as it adds so much on to the lesson fee. 

 

I'd also appreciate some advice on accounting when one travels out to people: does it go through one's books or not? Should it have a column to itself, just be included in the lesson fee, or not be shown at all?

 

Many thanks in advance.


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#2 LoneM

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 21:00

It should certainly go through the books. I'm now retired but for many years was self-employed.  When I had to travel any distance to a client I charged them more, to cover both my extra time and my travel costs.  The travel costs were classed as expenses (so deductible) but the fee to the customer was "income".

 

Travel expenses could be train fares, car allowance @ 45p per mile, or bicycle allowance @ 20p per mile.  I imagine an E-bike counts as an ordinary one!

 

HTH


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#3 jpiano

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 21:57

Hi Misterioso. I used to travel out to a great many pupils. I charged them a higher hourly rate for the lessons, which I then recorded for tax in the same way as any other pupil's fee. The travel expenses then went on my tax return as an expense- hope that helps.


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#4 Piano Meg

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 12:42

I used to charge extra to cover for petrol, but that was all. If I did it again (which I don't plan to), I would charge more to at least offset the lost time a bit. I suppose it depends on why you're doing it. If it's to help someone out because they couldn't otherwise get lessons, you may not want to put your charge up too much. If it's because it's the only way to get pupils, I would at least charge them 45p per mile travelled (round trip). If it's just their preference, I'd charge for the time spent travelling as well as the travel costs themselves. I now only have pupils coming to me and if they ask for me to come to them, I just say I don't do that.

 

Re-books - I used to have separate rates for the pupils I travelled to, so that was easy enough to add into the income side, and then the travel costs go into expenses (by mile). You can work out your travel costs another way (percentage of travelling for teaching purposes multiplied by various different costs), but it's longer-winded and probably not suitable if you don't do a huge amount (and then means more work if you later sell your car).

 

If you're driving to pupils' houses, remember that you need to be covered for 'business use' by your car insurer.


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#5 Misterioso

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 13:53

If you're driving to pupils' houses, remember that you need to be covered for 'business use' by your car insurer.

 

Thanks, Piano Meg - good point. But isn't travelling to a student's home to teach them much the same as driving to one's place of work (in which case business use as I understand it isn't required)? Does business use generally incur a higher insurance figure? (I appreciate this depends to some extent on individual insurers.) Also, as a named driver on OH's insurance, would I still be allowed to do that? 

 

If I charged 45p per mile, is that supposed to cover fuel + wear and tear? How does one legitimately add in time spent to travel? Am I legally "allowed" to charge a flat rate?

 

Apart from the one weekly student (who doesn't pay for travel) the other two would probably only be occasional. Does that make any difference?

 

Sorry to ask so many questions! 


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#6 BadStrad

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 14:38

A useful article here. https://www.boox.co....s-a-freelancer/
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#7 zwhe

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 14:39

As you are self-employed, your place of work is your home address (or wherever your business is registered), so travelling anywhere else is counted as business use. If you were employed, standard car insurance would only cover you travelling to your usual place of work, and not between offices or visiting clients etc.

You can charge your pupils whatever you like for travelling to their houses (although if it is too much, they might not pay it!). The mileage allowance counts as an expense for tax and is limited.

For example, you decide to charge £10 for travelling to a pupil 5 miles away. The £10 counts as income (money coming in). You travel 10 miles in your car, so you can claim £4.50 for expenses (money going out). The £5.50 would be for your time.


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#8 LoneM

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 15:03

45p per mile covers fuel + wear and tear, and insurance.  If it's only going to be occasional use I don't think you need worry about business insurance. I certainly didn't but then I hardly ever used the car, preferring either bicycle or train. I checked with the insurers once but they were not concerned. Like you I was a named driver on my husband's insurance. If you did have to switch to business insurance you couldn't claim it as an allowable expense as it comes under the 45p per mile.

 

I used to charge a flat rate for certain jobs and an hourly rate for any time over that. Most of my clients lived within 5 miles so came under the flat rate, and I cycled, claiming 20p per mile for wear and tear.  (Incidentally that worked out just about right for replacing tyres, chains, brake blocks, etc.)

 

But occasionally I would have a 2-3 hour train journey each way, for maybe just two hours work. In those cases my charge to the customer included the train fare and a (lower) hourly rate for the travel time, as well as the original flat rate for the job.  I always made this quite clear to them and gave estimates or quotations - if they didn't like it they could go elsewhere.

 

In my accounts I entered the gross amount received from the customer, then entered the train fare under 'expenses'.


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#9 Misterioso

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 10:54

Wow - that's given me plenty of food for thought. Thank you so much for all the replies and the link.

 

In the light of this, then, it seems I should have business insurance for the car for the lady I travel out to every week, but it seems a lot of trouble to go to for just one student. I think my insurance company would probably not be particularly interested. The other two should only be occasional - although there's no telling what might happen once they find it's easier for them if I do the travelling....!

 

I will read through all this useful information again. Thanks again for the feedback.


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#10 BadStrad

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 11:14

I don't know how big your teaching load is, but one thing to bear in mind if you only teach part time is your tax band. I think the lower threshold is around £12,500. If you earn less than that you won't get any benefit from claiming (travel) expenses as they are offset against your tax calculation. If you don't earn enough to pay tax you don't get anything back, so claiming mileage allowances rather than charging for travel would give you a loss.
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#11 Misterioso

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 11:32

I don't know how big your teaching load is, but one thing to bear in mind if you only teach part time is your tax band. I think the lower threshold is around £12,500. If you earn less than that you won't get any benefit from claiming (travel) expenses as they are offset against your tax calculation. If you don't earn enough to pay tax you don't get anything back, so claiming mileage allowances rather than charging for travel would give you a loss.

 

Thank you, BadStrad - you have succinctly put across my exact position. So how should I show the travel costs if I don't claim for them? Is it enough to record the full cost of the lesson AND the travel together where I show the lesson fee, or should it be done some other way? Or should I not put the travel charge through my book at all?

 

Am I being thick?unsure.png wacko.png


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#12 Piano Meg

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 12:00

 

Thank you, BadStrad - you have succinctly put across my exact position. So how should I show the travel costs if I don't claim for them? Is it enough to record the full cost of the lesson AND the travel together where I show the lesson fee, or should it be done some other way? Or should I not put the travel charge through my book at all?

 

 

It's completely up to you whether you want to record your expenses and put them in your books. The government is more interested in what your profit is and whether you need to pay tax/National Insurance. So it's all about whether or not it benefits you... Even if you're not paying tax, the figure at which you start paying different kinds of National Insurance is lower, so it may still be helpful. Having said that, there's now a provision for self-employed workers where you can take £1000 off your profit as a kind of catch-all expenses amount: https://www.gov.uk/g...-trading-income - so if your expenses are less than £1000 each year, you can use that instead of working out all your expenses. 

 

What you charge pupils for travelling to them is a different matter. You can charge what you like, but you do need to record all of your income. So, if a pupil lives 10 miles away, and you charge them £15 for their lesson and £10 for the travel, you'd put £25 down as income (just as one entry is absolutely fine). If you record your expenses, you'd put (10 x 45p then doubled for the round trip) £9 as your travelling expenses. Recording them will lower your profit for tax/N.I. purposes (so you needn't pay so much tax), but if you wouldn't be paying tax/N.I. anyway, there's no benefit in lowering your profit. But you will still lose that money in petrol/wear & tear etc, so you should still charge your pupils for travel costs whether or not you record your expenses for tax purposes - and how much you charge pupils for travel is completely up to you. 


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#13 Misterioso

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 13:49

Thanks, Piano Meg, that makes things clearer. smile.png


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#14 Piano Meg

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 20:12

Thanks, Piano Meg, that makes things clearer. smile.png

biggrin.png


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