Each year HMRC share some of the more ludicrous expense claims that people have made on their Self Assessment tax returns. With excuses ranging from problems with maids to televisions, whilst many business expenses are allowable, there are notable exceptions!
Wired for sound
There are some jobs where the purchase of music is a necessary work expense. If you’re a musician or perhaps a dancer, then music is part of your job; essential to what you do.
However, it’s understandable that the carpenter who made the top spot in HMRC’s excuse chart made them raise their eyebrows with his claim of £900 for a 55 inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs. If any carpenters out there want to explain how this helps in the pricing process, we’re all ears.
Someone also claimed the cost of a music subscription so that they could listen to music while they work. Not exactly an essential business expense.
Kitted out and jetting off
Claiming the cost of workwear essential for carrying out your work, such as protective boots, is perfectly acceptable. But HMRC looked askance for a claim for £40 on extra woolly underwear for 5 years. They also weren’t prepared to pay for the cost of a family holiday to Nigeria. Holidays aren’t a business expense, and why should other taxpayers pay out for someone to take their family abroad?
The other expense that made HMRC’s ‘Unreasonable Top 5’? A £756 claim for pet insurance for the claimant’s dog. Good try.
So what are allowable expenses?
Of course, there are many expenses that HMRC is perfectly happy for you to claim, which will in turn reduce the amount of tax that you pay. Watch our short video below to get a better idea of how it works!
To give you an idea of the kinds of expenses that you can claim for, this might include:
Office costs, for example stationery or phone bills
Travel costs, for example fuel, parking, train or bus fares
Clothing expenses, for example uniforms
Staff costs, for example salaries or subcontractor costs
Things you buy to sell on, for example stock or raw materials
Financial costs, for example insurance or bank charges
Costs of your business premises, for example heating, lighting, business rates
Advertising or marketing, for example website costs
To fully understand what you can (and can’t!) claim, talk to one of the team to find out how we can help. Call 020 3355 4047 or grab an instant quote online.
Want to learn more?
Subscribe to our newsletter to get accounting tips like this right to your inbox
About The Author
Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.