HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

CCM6755 - Particular aspects: work & hours - self-employed customers - hours worked - activities

As well as the actual time taken to provide the service to the customer there are activities that are classed as hours worked. These are usually hours spent on activities that make the service possible.

Below is a list of possible activities but it is no exhaustive

The hours to be counted will include

  • any which will be costed to the client/customer as spent in producing/providing the individual order or service
  • trips to wholesalers and retailers
  • visits to potential clients for giving quotes etc
  • time spent on advertising or canvassing business
  • cleaning the business premises or space used specifically for business purposes
  • cleaning a vehicle used as part of the business, for example taxi
  • travelling for the purposes of the business, but not from home to their business premises
  • book keeping
  • research work, for example where the customer is an established author. Research carried out be persons who are not established authors, but are working in the hope of one day becoming established will not count

It is sometimes difficult to determine the number of hours spent on these types of activities and you may need to request documents such as diaries, appointment book/work schedules.

The amount of time being spent on these activities may also depend upon how established the business is. If a business is in its early days, it is more likely that the customer will have to invest large amounts of time and effort in building up business contacts for little or no outcome. However, over time the amount of unproductive time spent in this way reduce considerably. If it does not, it may be an indication that the work is not genuinely remunerative.