25 Jan 2016 12:30pm

The most bizarre tax return expense claims

From furnishing a new flat to intimate waxing, HMRC has revealed the top five most outrageous personal expenses claims received as the deadline for self-assessment tax returns approaches

The Revenue published the "most bizarre” expenses that taxpayers tried and failed to claim in the 2013/14 self-assessment, which included:

1. The costs for storing Mars Bars overnight in a fridge

2. The cost of a pair of flip flops so I don’t have to walk barefoot between my work’s changing and shower rooms

3. The costs for my intimate waxing

4. I bought a second hand car to get me from home to work so I didn’t have to walk

5. I purchased my own flat, so I need to claim back the money I spent on the furniture.

Ruth Owen, HMRC’s director general of personal tax, said, “There are a number of items and expenses that people can claim against, such as genuine business costs and items needed to do a job.

“But a painful beauty regime or the furniture for your own home are not items that every taxpayer in the country should be contributing towards. It’s wrong that a small minority of people expect the honest majority to subsidise their lifestyle and HMRC will never allow for these to be processed as genuine claims."

Owen warned there is only one week to go until the 31 January deadline to submit online tax return, to avoid a £100 late return penalty.

After three months, the Revenue charges additional daily penalties of £10 and a further penalty of 5% of the tax due after six months. There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.

Earlier this month, HMRC also issued a list of the worst reasons for late submission, including “my dog ate my return” and “I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for 5 years”.

Jessica Fino


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