HMRC publishes list of silliest self-assessment expense claims

A list of some of the silliest expense claims featured in recent self-assessment tax returns has been published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The Revenue has published the list as a warning for taxpayers to take their self-assessment returns seriously and ensure that they are submitted by 31 January for the 2015/16 tax year.

According to reports, some of the most ludicrous claims in recent returns have included:

  • Underwear ‘for personal use’.
  • Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’.
  • Flights to the Caribbean.
  • Armani jeans as ‘protective clothing’ for a painter and decorator.
  • International flights for dental treatment ‘ahead of important business meetings’.
  • Luxury watches as ‘Christmas gifts for staff’.
  • A garden shed ‘for private use’.
  • Regular ‘Friday night bonding sessions’ which ran into ‘thousands of pounds’.

Ruth Owen, HMRC’s customer services director general, said: “Year after year we receive a number of ludicrous expense claims, ranging from international holiday flights to expensive designer clothing, which we would never uphold.

“HMRC will only accept those claims which are genuine, such as legitimate travel expenses or the cost of tools for the job,” she added.

HMRC has confirmed that all of the expense claims issued above were rejected.