The most creative reasons for expenses!

Expend Team

07 October 2021

Here at Expend, we speak with many accountants and business owners, each with their stories of expense claims. It’s important to be compliant, but that doesn’t stop some claimants being ‘adventurous with the truth.’

So, to help lighten the mood, here’s a round up some of the most creative reasons for expenses we’ve heard about, and a brief insight into what you can legitimately claim.

A music subscription 🎵

Many employees find that music can help them to focus, but that doesn’t make a bill for the music streaming service Spotify a valid claim for expenses.  Whilst training subscriptions are permissible expenses, personal entertainment, sadly is not. Cue the sympathy violins. 

Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’ 👮🏻‍♂️🐶

Expenses for business related food and drink are certainly re-imbursable, but a claim for pet food turned out to be a dog’s breakfast. (See what we did there?) 

Caravan rental for the Easter weekend 🏕

Yes, business hotel accommodation and subsistence expenses are appropriate reimbursable expenses, but a 6-berth caravan for yourself and the in-laws is outside the rules.  

Deodorant, expensive perfume and aftershave ✨

First impressions can certainly be lasting impressions, but your personal fragrance is not a deductable expense.  So, shop wisely at the fragrance counter, because you need to pay for it all yourself. 

New teeth, teeth whitening, designer dresses, shirts and trousers 👗

Image, image, image. You might believe that some of these items will support your business development efforts, but sadly they cannot be the subject of an expenses claim. 

Speeding tickets 🏎

We all know that speeding is never acceptable. Nor is justifying re-charging your speeding ticket to your firm because you were rushing to a meeting. 

Parking fines 🚘

There is never a car park space for  a business meeting when you need one! So yes, parking fines are the bane of all our lives. And no, the cost lands with the driver, not the firm. 

Sports club membership fees ⛳️

It’s true that many contracts are discussed on the golf course, but this doesn’t make golf club fees a claimable expense, nor can you claim for private member clubs or other sports membership costs. 

Bouncy castles and birthday cakes 🎂

Could your child’s party be passed off as an office team building event? Sadly no, not even if many of your colleagues happen to be there. Oh, and go steady on the bouncy castle after a couple of G&Ts!

Some basic rules

We’ve covered some of the most creative and unlikely expenses claims, but what are the basic rules for acceptable claims? 

HMRC have a series of tax allowances against which businesses and their employees can claim what are regarded as reasonable business expenses. You can find the A-Z of categories here

At Expend we’re here to make expenses easier to understand and simpler to manage. Our software helps you to guide employees through the expenses maze, providing easy and quick ways to manage expenses. So, stay on the right side of the rules for claimable expenses, and let us help you manage your expense claims process, seamlessly and easily. 

Join us today! Start your free trial below ⬇️

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Expend Team

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