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UK resident tries to put birthday drinks at Glasgow nightclub on tax return

HMRC has revealed that some Brits are taking liberties on their tax returns…

In the run up to the self assessment deadline, which this year falls on 31 January, HMRC has released a list of the more unusual items that people in Britain have attempted to claim for on expenses.

Over the past financial year, an individual tried to claim for birthday drinks consumed on a night out in a club in Glasgow.

Another crafty claimant felt that their hotel room service, which had included the delivery of candles and Prosecco, should be covered.

Another form filler decided that their £4.50 spent on sausages and chips over a 250-day period should be expensed.

Other unusual items to appear on the list included “a three-piece suite for my partner to sit on when I’m doing my accounts” and a vet bill for a rabbit.

And, if you’re thinking of getting out of returning your tax form, make sure you have a valid excuse.

“I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house” won’t really cut it, neither will “my ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go upstairs to retrieve it”.

Likewise, if you’ve been “far too busy touring the country on your one-man play”, HMRC might just see through it.

Commenting on this year’s returns, Angela MacDonald, HMRC director general of customer services, said: “Each year we’re making it easier and more intuitive for our customers to complete their tax return, but each year we still come across some questionable excuses, whether that’s blaming a busy touring schedule or seeing aliens. However, help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time.

“We also receive absurd expense claims from vet fees for a rabbit to room service at a hotel. It is unfair to make honest taxpayers pick up the bill for other people’s spurious claims, so HMRC will only accept sincere claims such as legitimate expenses for a job.

“If you think you might miss the 31 January deadline, get in touch with us now – the earlier we’re contacted, the more help we can offer”.

The deadline for both sending the 2016-2017 self assessment tax returns to HMRC and for paying any tax owed is 31 January 2018. Help is available here, or via the self assessment helpline 0300 200 3310.

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