Tuesday, 4th August 2020

The self-employed guide to justifying ridiculous expenses on your tax return

IT’S tax time again and that means you’re probably tempted to put in some dodgy expenses. Here’s a handy guide to what you can claim, probably.

All the shoes you bought?  

Definitely. How did you get to meetings? If the answer was ‘by shoe’ then stick the receipts in with taxis and travel.

Your children?

If you’ve got a vague idea about becoming a children’s author, try claiming your kids are a ‘reference resource’. In a sense they are ‘equipment’ which incurs a lot of ‘maintenance’ so why not give it a try? The taxman probably sees loads of dubious claims for yoghurts and Pampers anyway.

Stag dos?

Yes. If one of the guys on the stag do hired you a month later that trip was work, even if you were hammered, two Es down and dressed as a Smurf.


Why not? Perhaps you came up with a great idea when you were covered in oil having your back rubbed, so technically you were ‘at work’. And freelancing can be stressful so massages prevent you having a nervous breakdown.

Your cat and all its bills?

Definitely. Your home is your office and your cat recently caught a small creature so technically Oscar is pest control. No one needs to know that the ‘pest’ was a chaffinch and you cried when you saw it.