Hi, I have 2 commissioned guitars that are going to Budapest. I was thinking of taking them there personally and taking a few mates with me for a weekend break at the same time. My question is, I know shipping guitars is tax deductible when filing UK tax returns but do you know if the same applies to taking instruments personally?
I would only include flights of course, which works out around the same (actually a tad cheaper) as if I shipped. If anyone knows, or has done the same I would appreciate any info.
Why not? Surely you are only taking the place of a shipping company, who obviously will charge for their services. You charge for your 'personal touch' delivery, which is a service. The tax authorities can't tell you how you should be delivering your instruments. it's none of their concern. The fact that you get a mini break at the same time is none of their concern either.
Not sure you'll be able to claim for your mates or any beers though. You might be able to claim for one mate, two guitars = two couriers.
You may even be able to include other expenses but that's beyond my knowledge.
I'd don't know if I'd go on "Why not?" advice. Probably be best to contact an accountant or someone from your government's tax agency. Besides deductions, you might want to check on whether or not some of you materials falls under CITES restrictions. It would be a shame to show up at the airport and have your guitars confiscated. When I sent one of my guitars to the UK, I had to fill out government paperwork that guaranteed my instrument didn't contain any banned materials. Although I'm in the US, I have a feeling that the UK also has restrictions.
Richard will be self employed rather than registered as a company. It still doesn't alter the fact that it's a legitimate business expense. He even states that it will be a touch cheaper than shipping them by Fedex, UPS etc. I'd like to hear how HMRC are going to argue against that. I doubt that they will be the slightest bit interested. It's just another business cost, not really any different to buying a piece of rosewood or buying a cardboard box to pack the instrument in. That refers to the plane ticket. All the other expenses may (or may not) be claimed for.
I seem to recall James Lister mentioning a delivery trip to Poland some time back … maybe you could check with him.
Yes I did. It was a business trip, so I claimed the allowable expenses against my income tax. As has been mentioned, it's best to talk to an accountant, or email HMRC for advice. They're generally very helpful, and won't charge you anything!