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Ludicrous Tax Return Expenses Revealed (Sausage and Chips)

Contractors who read this blog on a regular basis will be aware by now of the 31st January tax return deadline. I’ve spoke about it before of course.

It’s usually around this time that HMRC release their official list of ludicrous tax return expenses that self employed people try to claim for…but ultimately fail.

You might think you can be clever and get away with trying to put everything down in the expense column, but over there at HMRC headquarters they are having none of it.

Take the enthusiastic contractor who enjoyed his regular meal of sausage and chips on a work day afternoon. He took salt and vinegar as well and always asked the chip shop owner for a receipt

That is why on his recent tax return he decided to claim for £1125 worth of sausage and chips. Nice try for sure, but it didn’t get by the HMRC staff who denied his opportunistic grab for paying less tax. Maybe next year he should try fish and chips? It could work.

While sausage and chips is certainly an interesting expense claim, it is nothing compared to the woman who tried to get away claiming for her brand new three piece suite.

The reason she gave when questioned by HMRC? It was because her partner had to sit in it while she did the accounts. Something tells me this particular person might be better off handing her accounts over to a professional contractor accountant before she tries to claim for the kettle.

Other hopeful contractors tried to claim expenses on their tax returns for things like drinks at a Glasgow nightclub and hotel room service that included candles and prosecco. Sometimes you just need to let your hair down a bit it seems…wouldn’t it be nice if all these things were genuine expenses? Unfortunately they are not.

Also, don’t forget that getting your online tax return in on time is very important, because failure to do so will result in a £100 fine.

However, every year thousands do miss the 31st January deadline and this always results in some unusual excuses from contractors.

Take the one bloke who tried to get out of his £100 fine by telling HMRC that he could not enter the house…because his wife had been seeing aliens. Apparently she thinks he is from another planet, which means he could not log on to the HMRC website in time.

Another excuse for a late tax return? “I spilled coffee on it,” said one contractor. At least they didn’t try the old fashioned “my dog ate it,” although some have tried that in the past.

One man said he had been much too busy to file a tax return…with his one man play which has been touring the country. Has it never occurred to him that he could hire an accountant? I think he should.

Without a doubt, the prize for best (or worst) excuse for a late tax return is quite simply…”my business doesn’t really do anything.” Fair enough if you ask me.

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