A TAX adviser is urging people who work from home to ensure they claim important tax benefits.

More than half a million people started their own businesses last year and research suggests almost two-thirds of mothers with children under 10 are considering starting a business.

With full-time childcare costs for two children reaching £11,702, Liz Tapley, who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Poole, is urging people who work from home to ensure they claim tax benefits.

She said: “As a mother of two young children, the flexibility of being self-employed was a big draw when we set up TaxAssist Accountants eight years ago.

"While setting up your own business can be a daunting prospect, with the cost of childcare spiralling, it can have significant benefits, offering more flexible working and the potential to be more tax efficient.”

She said HMRC would allow business owners to offset a share of some household bills to reduce their tax bills, based on the layout of their homes and the amount of time spent there.

These include mortgage interest, insurance, rent, utility costs and rates as well as a percentage of phone line rental, business calls and internet connections.