Housing Benefit For The Self-Employed

Housing Benefit For The Self-Employed

Note: For comprehensive coverage of this area of benefits see also our "HB For Small Business Owners (Company Directors)" Workshop. 


London -  Date TBC for September / October 

Kingsley Holborn Thistle Hotel, Bloomsbury, 

City Centre Venue. (Near British Museum)

Workshop Fee: £285 + VAT.    4th Place Free on same date & venue.

In this Workshop we begin by establishing exactly what it means to be self-employed – ownership of assets, risk, business names and tax arrangements. We also consider whether activities such as e-Bay trading and renting out property can ever amount to self-employment.  

Having established that a claimant is self-employed the next task is to assess his/her earnings. The following issues (which the course deals with) typically arise:   

•  How much evidence is needed? When should the accounts be backed up by supporting evidence? 

•  In the absence of an audit trail where most transactions are carried out in cash, what techniques are available to help the Council judge whether the accounts are plausible?  We will consider some of the different approaches developed by councils for dealing with particular trades, such as private hire minicab drivers; 

•  Is it safe to rely on the last complete set of annual accounts, or should a more recent and/or shorter period of work be looked at? 

•  What is the best way to estimate earnings for someone who is only just starting in self-employment and how often should their progress be reviewed? 

•  Which expenses can be deducted for HB purposes: What about rent on the claimant’s home (and what effect does this have on the eligible rent for HB)? Can a portion of dual-purpose expenses be claimed, like car tax, flat rate utility standing charges, etc.? 

•  Should the Council make any allowance for accounting devices such as opening and closing stock? 

•  Can you “employ” your partner and claim the wages as an expense? 

•  What if the claimant borrows money for business purposes, or takes money from business borrowing facilities to live on: 

   o  Does this count as income? 

   o  When can repayment of borrowed money be allowed as a business expense? 

•  Perhaps the trickiest question of all: in what circumstances can a decision about self-employed earnings be revised or superseded retrospectively to create an overpayment or underpayment of HB?  

Universal Credit will treat self-employed people in much the same way as Housing Benefit, but the course will flag up the differences, especially the “minimum income floor” – some local authorities have already adopted this in their local Council Tax Reduction Schemes.  

A Workshop that has plenty of practical examples where delegates will be able to understand all the key stages in the assessment of a self-employed claim from income and expenses through to deduction of Tax and National Insurance.

(For a complete understanding of all the Housing Benefit issues affecting people who run their own business see our separate Full Day Workshop on “Benefits For Owners Of Small Private Companies” as well.)

Programme Timetable:    

9.30    Arrivals and coffee/tea        

9.45    Introductions and course overview     

11.15    Coffee/tea break           

1:00    Lunch break          

3.15    Tea/coffee break           

4.30    Workshop ends

Note:  For comprehensve coverage of this area  benefits see also our "HB For Small Business Owners (Company Directors)" Workshop .  

In-House Workshop Required?

We are always pleased to arrange most of our Workshops, such as this one, for staff from an individual organisation to be held at their own training venue. Please email us with your requirements for details.