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Thread: Laptop, USA to UK for business - Self-employment

  1. #1

    Laptop, USA to UK for business - Self-employment

    My wife is self employed and contracts for a university in the USA. Her boss there wants to ship her a new laptop. Is a business item treated any differently from a personal item? Will she be able to claim any duties back as a cost when filing her returns? Is the same rate of duty payable?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    My wife is self employed and contracts for a university in the USA. Her boss there wants to ship her a new laptop. Is a business item treated any differently from a personal item? Will she be able to claim any duties back as a cost when filing her returns? Is the same rate of duty payable?

    Many thanks.
    I would say she can claim the duty as a deductible expense and get tax relief

    Less a private use dedcution of course ;)

  3. #3
    Make sure you get the right transformer if she charges it from the mains!

  4. #4
    Will do, thanks all.

  5. #5
    I could be wrong here, are you saying your wife is a contractor working in the UK for an American based company? Isnít one of the stipulations of being a contractor that she should use her own equipment? Otherwise she is basically an employee? Or am I getting contractor and consultant mixed up?

  6. #6
    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    In my experience most modern laptops come with a power supply that works on anything between 100 and 240V - certainly the Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba laptops that I've used in the last ten years or so have.

    What you might want to check is whether the laptop comes with an international warranty, or with a warranty/service tag that can be transferred from the US to the UK. Some will, and some only will if that's part of the corporate procurement deal. Sending a laptop back to the US to get it fixed can be a pain in the backside.

    Also if your wife is used to touch-typing see if she can get them to specify a UK rather than US keyboard. Although not a big deal it can help.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin44 View Post
    I could be wrong here, are you saying your wife is a contractor working in the UK for an American based company? Isnít one of the stipulations of being a contractor that she should use her own equipment? Otherwise she is basically an employee? Or am I getting contractor and consultant mixed up?
    Many clients will insist on use of their own laptops, etc for access to internal networks and systems. I have often double bagged, bringing my (companies) machine and the clents in. A lot of the time I have software already installed to crack on with the job rather than wait for someone to authorise and install it on the client machine.

    There is no stipulation, but there is a pointer and benefit to having your own company's machine too.

    Sent from my SM-G955F using TZ-UK mobile app

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernestrome View Post
    My wife is self employed and contracts for a university in the USA. Her boss there wants to ship her a new laptop. Is a business item treated any differently from a personal item? Will she be able to claim any duties back as a cost when filing her returns? Is the same rate of duty payable?

    Many thanks.
    If your wife has a company that is VAT registered then I would think the VAT should be reclaimable. Not sure how the duty is dealt with. Depending in the amount, she could either invoice for it or write it off as a company expense and a cost of doing business.

    Sent from my SM-G955F using TZ-UK mobile app

  9. #9
    She doesn't have a company, maybe she should.

    I think consultant is a better description of their arrangement than contractor.

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    Individuals can be VAT registered too.

    As an aside - if she has profits of over say £50k incorporation normally makes sense.

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