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Posted 27th September 2016

Weird and wonderful expense claims

Contractors and claiming expenses is always a hot topic. We often receive call and emails querying specific items and whether they would be allowable expense claims. In many cases what might sound like perfectly reasonable requests are unfortunately not allowable. In other instances though we do hear from people who are clearly just trying their luck!


In recent years it has been the weird and wonderful expense claims of politicians that have made the headlines. Duck house and island anyone? Or maybe some moat cleaning? But it isn’t just the politicians that try and claim for things that most of us would agree range from the bizarre to the outrageous.

Here are just a few examples of queries or claims that we’ve received or heard about.

Deodorant, new teeth, teeth whitening, designer dresses, expensive perfume or aftershave. Even if you honestly believe these things are going to help you win new business you’ll have a hard time getting them past the tax man!

Speeding tickets and parking fines. No, no, no! We don’t want to hear about the lack of parking when you went for a business meeting or the fact that you simply had to speed to get from A to B to complete an assignment on time.

Pet food. Office dogs are popular at the moment but claiming food for the office pooch simply isn’t going to wash.

Membership fees for golf clubs, private members clubs and other sports memberships. Even if you are negotiating your next contract on the golf course!

Bouncy castles and birthday cakes. Sorry, you really can’t pass your darling son or daughter’s party off as a corporate team building event even if all your colleagues were there.

We think the following claims are equally weird but believe it or not these were deemed allowable. NB. We’re not suggesting you try and make any similar claims!

In America a topless dancer won her case to uphold a deduction for her breast implants after she underwent the cosmetic surgery based on career advice from her agent. Sorry, this is another exotic dancer example but from the UK this time! Bill the boa constrictor was initially queried by the tax man but was accepted after the dancer explained he was part of her act.

If you are registered with us and are unsure about what expenses you can legitimately claim then take a look at our expenses guide.

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