Opinions on using coffee shop as a casual workspace. Opinions on using coffee shop as a casual workspace.
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  1. #1

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    Default Opinions on using coffee shop as a casual workspace.

    So, I had a quick search and didn't find much on this.


    I know expensing and subsistence is done to death here but..

    I do a lot of my work such as admin and client followup etc from coffee shops and consider it similar to a casual co-working space etc..

    I have only come across one instance of a coffee shop charging £10 per day if you plan on spending hours working on laptop. All others have the cost built into their drinks and snacks.

    I know coffees and snacks throughout the day aren't generally allowable expenses but I would assert that the payment for such items is actually part payment for use of the space, wifi, toilets etc i.e. Serviced office space in a fairly loose sense. If you consider that most serviced offices offer drinks inclusive of cost.

    So what do others think of adding your coffee shop expense as a business expense under the understanding that the space is used for business purposes.

    I know something like this can be gamed but I think it would be unreasonable for a tax official to cast negative judgement on transaction during business hours.

    Thoughts?

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    My view is that subsistence becomes an allowable cost if you are travelling on business or for necessary attendance at a temporary workplace.

    In my opinion choosing to go and work in a local coffee shop (something I do myself from time to time) is a choice and it’s not something I would claim or feel like I could justify unless I was going there for a specific purpose.

  3. #3

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    Go for it. You'll be making massive savings expensing that 10 quid a day :
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    Quote Originally Posted by password View Post

    I know coffees and snacks throughout the day aren't generally allowable expenses
    why on earth do you think that?
    Unless you live close then it's just business travel. If you do live close then WHY?



    In any case have you ever been thrown out of a coffee shop for only buying one drinke every 4 hours?
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Go for it. You'll be making massive savings expensing that 10 quid a day :
    This depends how often he does it... But over a year it could add up to a saving of a few hundred quid. Hardly a life altering amount but better in his pocket than HMRC surely? (Especially given the minimal effort required to put it through the books).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snarf View Post
    This depends how often he does it... But over a year it could add up to a saving of a few hundred quid. Hardly a life altering amount but better in his pocket than HMRC surely? (Especially given the minimal effort required to put it through the books).
    Well yes but it's not free. He's only saving the tax on it at the end of the day so he'd have to use it an awful lot for just the tax savings. He'll spend more on coffee and bits n pieces in that time to offset any savings. But I doubt he's really doing this just for the tax element.

    On a side note, they've started a Humpday Coffee club up near by where remote workers get together in a local café for a couple of hours to break up the day which is a great idea so looking to go down one day. The club doesn't have many areas but sure some places have something that's run more locally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Go for it. You'll be making massive savings expensing that 10 quid a day :
    £10 / day = £2,300 / year

    paying this out of pocket would cost 2300 x 1.2 x 1.325 = £3,657

    which makes a saving of £1,357 / year

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freewill View Post
    £10 / day = £2,300 / year

    paying this out of pocket would cost 2300 x 1.2 x 1.325 = £3,657

    which makes a saving of £1,357 / year
    Erm.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Erm.....
    you have a counter argument?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freewill View Post
    £10 / day = £2,300 / year

    paying this out of pocket would cost 2300 x 1.2 x 1.325 = £3,657

    which makes a saving of £1,357 / year
    I do a lot of my work such as admin and client followup etc from coffee shops and consider it similar to a casual co-working space etc..
    I doubt OP is doing admin and client followup 230 days a year. If it is as much as 23 days a year, which I doubt, it reduces your figure to £135.

    You should also have used 1.19, not 1.2. And you should have asked OP if he is higher rate or not, if not, you should have used 1.075 instead of 1.325.

    So the 2300 is wrong, the 1.2 is wrong, and the 1.325 might be wrong. Other than that your figures are fine.

    So anyway, OP, you said:
    Quote Originally Posted by password View Post
    I know coffees and snacks throughout the day aren't generally allowable expenses but I would assert that the payment for such items is actually part payment for use of the space, wifi, toilets etc i.e. Serviced office space in a fairly loose sense. If you consider that most serviced offices offer drinks inclusive of cost.

    So what do others think of adding your coffee shop expense as a business expense under the understanding that the space is used for business purposes.
    Emphasis added. You might have trouble with that 'wholly and exclusively' thing.

    You are correct that if YourCo rented an office space and provided coffee for its employees it would all be tax free. You could argue that this is all you are doing, renting office space and providing coffee. There's a logic to it.

    But it's not the usual thing, it is likely to raise eyebrows at least at HMRC, and if it is worth less than £200 / year (as per the above figures), I don't think I'd push the envelope on it. I certainly wouldn't do snacks, etc, if I were to try this I'd keep it to tea/coffee (which I think is specifically mentioned in HMRC guidance), and buy anything else personally.

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