Working From Home – Can I Claim Any Money Back For Tax?

If you run an office from home then you can expect to have higher domestic bills. Why you may ask, well for one you will be using more electricity as you will be using your computer throughout the day and other appliances. You will also use more gas for central heating; you may even notice your water bills going up a small amount too.If you are working from home but are employed by a company then you are entitled to claim a proportion of these expenses back against your tax bill at the end of the financial year. But HM Revenue and Customs in Britain would rather that you didn’t. Back in 2005 it capped the tax relief available for gas, electric, water and phone bills to just two pounds a week for employed workers. This is as in effect by working from home you are saving your company money. The more people a company has working from home, the less it needs to spend on bills of their own such as electricity, gas, rent for premises etc.So why should the company keep those savings and expect the taxman to cover your costs? This is because it is down to your employer to reimburse you any costs by working from home, not the taxman. But alas more often than not the company will not as they see it that you are benefiting as you do not have to pay for travel costs.If you are self-employed working from home then it is a different story, and a better one. You can claim some of your home bills such as gas, electric, phone and the rent against tax. But you do need to demonstrate that your home office is only used for business purposes. So if you are working in the corner of your kitchen then I don’t think it will go down very well with the taxman. The easiest way to work out what you are entitled to is by square footage, so for instance if your home office takes up fifteen percent of your home then as a rule of thumb you can claim fifteen percent back of your bill s against tax.My advice is if you are running an office out of your home, then it is best to speak to an accountant to calculate it for you. They know the exact amounts you can claim back and how. They are the experts so ensure that you inform your accountant exactly what you use for business purposes in your home.

The Real Estate Investor’s Creative Financing Ideas

Finding Financing – Creative Ideas

For many years, the way to finance real estate was to make a 20% down payment, and get a loan for the remaining 80%. Of course you could make a higher down payment, but 20% was typically the minimum. Luckily, this standard has changed.

There are now several finance options available to the real estate investor. One popular way to finance your purchase is to have a second mortgage. The buyer makes a 5% down payment, and borrows the remaining 15%, usually at a higher interest rate, on a different loan.

Even though it’s nice to invest less on a property, the higher interest rate isn’t the only drawback. Usually, if the buyer does not meet the 20% minimum, they are required to get costly private mortgage insurance (PMI).

You are able to remove PMI when the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio reaches 80%. This is achieved by paying down the second mortgage and appreciation of the property value. This does not happen often because the property is usually sold or the buyer refinances before PMI can be removed.

For creative investors, other financing sources exist. Manufacturers of homes in planned developments are often willing to provide financing to early buyers.

Another risky and rather complicated way of financing a property is called ‘sub2′ which stands for ‘subject-to’. This type of deal is when the seller gives you the deed to the property, the loan stays in place, but the buyer never legally takes over the loan, just the payments. There are many different versions of this kind of transaction. Because of the complexity and risk, this method of funding an investment is not recommended for beginners.

You can also consider forming a limited partnership to finance your real estate investment. There are many different arrangements on this method. Some types involve each person in the partnership contributing in a portion of the cost, usually 50% each. However, sometimes the profit is distributed relative to the original amount invested. Another arrangement is that one half of the partnership contributes the capital, and the other half provides the needed services, such as repairs on a home that needs to be fixed. There are many different variations of this method.

How about the Lease Option? The lease-option allows a potential investor to lease the property and have some, or all, of the lease money applied to the purchase price if the potential buyer exercised the option to purchase. The investor then sub-leases the property with the option to buy or just rent it out.

In a conventional lease with option to buy, the seller charges the buyer a nonrefundable fee for the option to purchase the property at some agreed-upon point in time. The amount can vary depending on how eager the seller is to sell and the size and quality of the house. Typically, the higher the fee, the better the buyer maintains the property.

Because the lessee has made no down payment, the monthly rental fee is typically higher than prevailing market rates. The two parties agree on what portion of the rent will be applied to the down payment. Any amount can be credited.

Government loans are available to low income investors, or buyers who have served in the military. These programs are usually only available for primary residences.

Did you ever think about buying a home on a credit card? This is another method of financing your real estate purchase, although it’s usually not recommended. Obviously, the interest rates on most credit cards are substantially higher than loan rates. Another drawback is that lenders determine your creditworthiness based on your outstanding debt, and if you use credit card cash advances to cover the 5-20% down payment that you need, you’ll probably get turned down for a loan. This is also true for money borrowed from friends or family, unless you can show that the money is truly a gift.

Top 6 Madrid Travel Tips

Madrid is a great city to visit inside Europe. Madrid is the capital of the city and a place with lots of history. If you want to travel to Madrid and have a great time there, we recommend you to follow these Madrid travel tips:Be sure to consult a travel guide before traveling. Learning about a city can give you lots of ideas regarding where to go, the eating schedules, the best places to stay, etc. Free online guide work great, or if you prefer, you can buy a printed one.Printed guides will be of great help once you’ve reached Madrid, they will help you stay informed and oriented, specially with the aid of maps.If you don’t know Spanish, it would be a good idea to learn a little. On the Internet you can find many free short courses in Spanish that can in fact make a difference while on your vacations.If this is your first time in the city of Madrid, I would recommend that you purchase a Madrid travel package. These are packages that include everything from air transport to accommodations and tours. This will be a guided visit to the city that might give you more confidence on your stay.One of the most important Madrid travel tips is to carry extra money in case of emergency, and keep it safe. Avoid wasting this money in something that is not urgent. Plan ahead.When in the airport, taxis charge a higher price normally, but be aware also of possible scams. It is common to find taxi drivers that leave the meter on, even while you have not taken the cab in the first place!Keep this Madrid travel tips in mind before and while on your journey. This will help you enjoy fully the capital of Spain, city of kings!