Tax Return Expenses

Revealed: HMRC’s most ridiculous self-assessment tax expense claims

13 Nov 2018

Following our recent guide to self-employed tax-deductible expenses, we’ve decided to share a light hearted follow up by looking back fondly to some of HMRC’s most ridiculous self-assessment tax expense claims from the 2014/15 tax year. Back in 2017, the UK tax authority shared a list of the most bizarre and might we say, optimistic, tax expense claims received on the run up to the self assessment deadline on the 31st January.

The Top 10 Expense Claims

To recap slightly, as discussed in our previous blog, when completing your tax return, you’ll need to work out your expenses, as you could be eligible to subtract some of these from your turnover to work out your taxable profit. It is important to note however that you can’t just subtract all your self-employed expenses. HMRC has clear rules around what you can and can’t include, which is why the costs that you can include in your calculation are called ‘allowable expenses.’ With this in mind, the list released by HMRC really does include some unbelievable expense claims!

Below are the top 10 claims that UK businesses submitted in 2017 – all of which were of course, politely rejected!

  • A Caribbean holiday – we’re sure the team were working hard here!
  • Luxury watches as Christmas gifts for staff from a company with no employees…
  • International flights for dental treatment ahead of business meetings…
  • Pet food for the resident “guard dog”, a Shih Tzu…
  • Armani jeans which were used as “protective clothing” for a painter and decorator…
  • The cost of regular Friday night “bonding sessions” – costing thousands of pounds
  • Underwear – for personal use of course!
  • A garden shed for private use, plus the costs of the space it takes up in the garden…
  • Betting slips
  • Caravan rental over the Easter weekend

It’s not just the claims which have left HMRC feeling baffled and amused… Here’s some of the most common excuses UK businesses gave for missing the tax deadline in 2018:

  • I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house
  • I’ve been too busy touring the country with my one-man play
  • My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go to retrieve it
  • My business doesn’t really do anything
  • I spilt coffee on it

Request a FREE Report Detailing Your Tax Expense Claims

Each year, business owners across the UK either miss the deadline or submit their tax return incorrectly. With a wealth of experience behind us we understand that this can be easily done, especially when business owners have so many other areas to focus on and manage.

So, if you require support with your tax return or you’re simply not sure about where to start with working out your tax expense claims, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. Based locally in Newcastle under Lyme, we provide accounting services to businesses of all sizes in Newcastle and Stoke on Trent and pride ourselves on delivering a professional and comprehensive service. We don’t use technical industry jargon, we simply provide clients with easy to understand advice and support so that you can make the right decisions for your business.

If you’d like to find out more about what you can claim and how to reduce your tax bill simply contact us today and we’ll send you a FREE report detailing what you can claim and how you can reduce your tax bill.