What are the strangest tax expenses that you’ve ever heard trying to be claim as legitimate business expenses? A recent report reveals some very quirky answers. I've picked out 10 of what I consider to be the best.
1. Artificial leg
According to a client, his company, run by an Italian gentleman with close ties to his "family" back in Sicily, had an invoice hidden in sundries for the cost of an artificial leg. It turned out that the recipient of the leg was a customer who had suffered a freak accident with a sledge hammer.
A client who claimed for a monthly subscription of £20 for a "scientifically proven" deodorant which instantly makes women attracted to you.
3. 'Guard' dog
A client worked from home was also a delivery driver with his own vehicle. He gave his accountant receipts for vet bills and dog food etc as he believed his dog was principally a guard dog for his home office and the van when out doing his rounds. But it turned out this was a miniature Yorkshire Terrier!
4. Lots of carpet
A client tried to claim 5000 sq meters of carpet. It turned out that it was for the local mosque and this was a way of getting the VAT back. I’ve heard of a similar story for a client with some wooden flooring.
5. Broken wind
A client had a funny tale to tell, after preparing some trading accounts for a burly tree surgeon. "All was going well until I came a across a receipt which simply said ' Broken wind £50, Mrs Smith'"
"Mainly I had a vision of a Mrs Smith lying prostrate in her garden whilst Mr Client revived her with tenners after he had caused her to faint with a particularly loud or repugnant 'bottom burp'. Was this allowable, would it pass the 'wholly and exclusively' test?"
It turned out that whilst the client was sawing off a branch it fell and broke a neighbours' window and the £50 was compensation.
6. Christian Louboutins
A client tried to claim for a pair of Christian Louboutin high heeled shoes. But quite what he needed those for on an oil rig in the middle of the North Sea, one can only imagine, he said.
One farmer brought his invoices in and among them was a lab report for a bull's sperm test.
8. False teeth
An actor client tried to claim for a new set of false teeth, because the old set were ill-fitting and causing a slight lisp. HMRC said however some private benefit may also have accrued from the expense.
9. Women's garments
Among the answers were many mentions of women's garments and undergarments, especially among the entertainment professions.
10. Souped up cars
There were two mentions of clients trying to claim for 'souped up' cars. A client had a Nissan drag car. Everything was claimed as business expense, was claimed for flat rate VAT on any car part over £2,000.
He 'claimed' it was for advertising, as he would take clients out and that's how he got his business.