With the deadline for tax returns just a day away HMRC has published a list of the most ridiculous expenses received last year. Doubtless a bid to head off similar claims this year we hope it provides you with some light-hearted relief from the unenviable task of completing your own.
Speedy’s personal favourite expense to flunk the “wholly, exclusively and necessarily” test was a rather bold claim for pet food to keep satiated what must be a particularly terrifying Shih Tzu guard dog.
HMRC was similarly unimpressed with glamorous claims such as luxury watches to suffice as Christmas presents for staff, particularly in a company that seemed to have no employees.
Phantom Cartier-loving employees were not the only expenses to be met with little enthusiasm from HMRC. The “protective clothing” of a self-assessment taxpayer which took the form of Armani Jeans, whilst doubtless chic, failed to make the cut too.
The more one reads the gaul of some taxpayer’s seems both laughable and rather commendable. While doubtlessly morale boosting, international flights to receive dental treatment prior to business meetings were set aside. Unspecified “bonding sessions” running to thousands of pounds and always seeming to take place on a Friday evening were met with similar derision.
The HMRC has reiterated its aversion to ridiculous expenses, the ones detailed above providing just a snapshot of what gets claimed every year.
“Year after year, we receive a number of ludicrous expense claims…which we would never uphold. Why should the honest taxpayer pick up the bill for others? HMRC will only accept those claims which are genuine, such as legitimate travel expenses or the cost of tools for the job.”
Whilst we would caution self-assessors to submit only legitimate claims, let’s hope that some still take a chance or two for the sake of more entertaining cautionary tales next time around.