5 Crazy Receipts That Might Struggle In Your Tax Return

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Updated: 7th January 2021

Don't try putting these through to HMRC!

They say that ‘where there’s a blame, there’s a claim’ but when it comes to clawing back expenses for that end-of-year tax return, who needs someone to blame?

Thousands of dodgy ‘work related’ expenses are claimed each year with HMRC’s definition of ‘work’ clearly on a different wavelength to many company directors.

What chance have these got of getting past HMRC?!

1) International rap artist Drake and his Las Vegas bar bill

It comes as no surprise that a rap artist who has produced tracks such as ‘Fancy’, ‘Money To Blow’ and ‘Stay Scheming’ should rack up a $190,000 bar bill and then put it through the books of his record company. We’re thinking that 55th bottle of Grey Goose may have just pushed the tax boundaries too far… if only he’d have stopped at 50.

2) So that’s where the Olympics money is going…

The London 2012 Olympics cost the UK taxpayers a total of £12bn and when that kind of money is involved, it invariably leads to some devious largesse – as demonstrated by 15 Olympic bosses who thought they’d follow up their sorbets and ice cream with a £19,000 bottle of Hennessy 1853. That must be some bloody good cognac. The fact that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs just got £6,600 off them in VAT provides a modicum of comfort.

3) Russian billionaire Abramovich and his New York lunch

For a man said to be worth $13.5bn, a $47,000 lunch tab is roughly the figure Roman Abramovich earns every…single…minute. His meeting with five other businessmen at Nello’s in New York was said to be ‘a casual work meeting’ where no doubt everyone sat around discussing crude oil and yachts whilst stroking their cats.

4) Tory MP isn’t the brightest spark…

Shameless MPs across the UK caused a right stir with a number of extravagant claims which sparked the notorious expenses scandal of 2010. One particularly brazen claim that, erm, came to light, was a £91 receipt put through by Conservative MP Andrew Mackay for a handyman to change a lightbulb. Needless to say, his local constituents weren’t best pleased when finding out it was they who were being kept in the dark…

5) It’s always The Usual Suspects

When a London city trader spotted Hollywood A-lister Benicio Del Toro sitting next to him in swanky private club, he didn’t want to risk getting upstaged. Three bottles of Dom Perignon and a hoard of cocktails later, the banker stumbled out not only worse for wear but £40,000 worse off. The good news is that paracetamol are only 50p. When quizzed the next day by reporters, he said it was merely ‘corporate entertainment’. Del Toro said he hadn’t even noticed. Ouch. 

Keith Tully


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