Last Friday, for a bit of a laugh, I decided to conduct some research using my Twitter page – www.twitter.com/sallypercy. I asked my followers to tell me about the most ridiculous expenses claims they had ever come across. I expected some silly answers, but some of the responses I got defied belief. Among the responses were: a cot and soft furnishings for a nursery, a massage, an appendectomy, top-shelf magazines, sexy lingerie, condoms and (I wince as I write this) a prostitute.
The last claim, apparently, was charged to Director’s Loan and the accountant only discovered it because he queried what an unknown cheque was for.
Someone who went ‘on tour’ a lot, presumably a singer or musician, put in a claim for the condoms. He thought that his wild nights out with groupies were tax deductible as he was away from home at the time.
What people get up to in their spare time is up to them, but it’s astonishing what some individuals try to pass off as a legitimate business expense. Accountants prevented these particular claims from making the in-tray of HM Revenue & Customs, but the taxman must still come across claims that make him fall about with laughter.
I can only think of two types of people who should be able to claim condoms as an expense – prostitutes (provided they have registered their business and pay tax on it) and porn stars.
But on behalf of the Great British Taxpayer, I will say that as far as everyone else is concerned, your sex life may be your business, but it’s definitely not at our expense.