Can a Garden Office be Offset Against Tax?

There is much speculation about this question; having been involved in the delivery of hundreds of garden offices and studios I keep up to date with the latest tax and vat guides so I can offer clear possibilities to clients who ask. This article is not professional tax advice rather just the benefit of 14 years experience.

If your UK tax status is employed, you cannot claim the cost of a home office against your tax. Your mortgage company will consider funding the purchase as a significant value-enhancing home improvement. Using a garden room for business only, in a domestic garden, may need planning permission and may be subject to business rates or a rise in council tax value. It is the homeowners responsibility to make sure they comply with the council rule.

Lets imagine that you have a good quality, well insulated office in your garden. As a business owner, you can claim the cost of your garden office against taxation. So, you’re enjoying the cost offset, the short commute to work, the free creative space, the separation from home life. Be aware that if you then sell your home, with garden office in place, the tax man will want his value back. A well-built garden room is an investment which adds value and interest to the property, so this overlooked tax bill could be a big one.

As I see it, for business customers claiming their garden room as an asset, its wise to order a garden office on a steel frame so it can be transported to a new site. This adds an initial cost to the build but can be included in the current allowance for tax relief, Jan 2010. If the house is sold, then the office can move with you. As a future security, customers can benefit from a 10 year Insurance-Backed Guarantee from the Consumer Protection Association, if the supplier has been accepted as a member. Then, if problems arise, the defects will be repaired regardless of the trading status of the company. For low running costs, choose a high level of thermal efficiency and a Sustainable Garden Building.

In summary, if you run a business and your garden office is purely for business use, then it is possible to enter its cost in your tax return. However, be aware that you cannot then sell the building without equalising that offset, with the Inland Revenue. Above all, get professional financial advice. If this is too much information, perhaps you would rather absorb the cost and keep full ownership. A thermally sound garden room will add value to your home, encourage a relaxed lifestyle and become a feature which attracts buyers when its time to move on. Then you’re free to use its full versatility: weekend guest room, study area, hobby room, music space, man cave or teen den, whatever fits your style.

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