Revenue reveals craziest expenses claims

Cleaners, iMacs and office blinds. Not items easy to gauge as allowable expenses, but eminently more sensible-sounding than what some one-person businesses submit to HMRC.

In fact, representing just one in a bunch of fanciful expense claims that HMRC says it has now rejected, a business owner put through £40 for underwear, the “extra woolly” kind.

He racked up the below-the-belt costs over -- somehow -- a five-year period, at odds with the temporal, exotic nature of another taxpayer’s outlandish expenses claim -- a "family holiday" to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, making at least some effort to meet HMRC’s tests for expenses, a carpenter said to the Revenue that he needed to expense some equipment to assist with his costings.

The problem was that the equipment claimed for was a ‘55-inch TV and sound bar,’ a package costing a cool £900, necessary -- the carpenter ventured -- to “help him price his jobs,” HMRC said.

Also in the ‘rejected’ pile, and despite a similar attempt to make it sound authentic, one taxpayer submitted a music subscription “so I can listen to music while I work.”

Even more outlandish and equally disallowed, another taxpayer tried to get away with “£756 for my pet dog insurance.”

The Revenue’s director-general of customer services Angela MacDonald said the department received “dubious” expenses claims every year.

The five most questionable appear to have been released to head off taxpayers from submitting another batch of weird, wonderful but ultimately unsuccessful expenses claims, in time for the January 31st tax deadline.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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