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Intimate waxing? Top five worst tax return expense claims revealed

Press Release   •   Jan 24, 2016 00:01 GMT

As the seven day countdown to the Self Assessment deadline begins, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed the top five most outrageous personal expenses claims included in 2013-14 Self Assessment tax returns.

The spurious expenses range from furnishing a new flat to the meagre cost of storing Mars Bars overnight in a fridge. Here’s the full list of bizarre expenses that some taxpayers have tried, and failed, to claim for:

1. The costs for storing Mars Bars overnight in a fridge

2. The cost of a pair of flip flops so I don’t have to walk barefoot between my work’s changing and shower rooms

3. The costs for my intimate waxing

4. I bought a second hand car to get me from home to work so I didn’t have to walk

5. I purchased my own flat, so I need to claim back the money I spent on the furniture.

There is now only one week left to submit your online tax return, and pay what you owe, to HMRC to avoid a £100 late return penalty.

Ruth Owen, HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, said:

“There are a number of items and expenses that people can claim against, such as genuine business costs and items needed to do a job. But a painful beauty regime or the furniture for your own home are not items that every taxpayer in the country should be contributing towards. It’s wrong that a small minority of people expect the honest majority to subsidise their lifestyle and HMRC will never allow for these to be processed as genuine claims.

“With one week to go until the 31 January deadline it’s best to complete your tax return sooner rather than later. Our online service is quick and simple to use, with lots of helpful information – completing your tax return is easier than you think.”

Notes for Editors

1. If you are submitting your 2014-15 Self Assessment return online for the first time, you will need to register for SA Online. Registering for online returns is simple – you can do it online here:

2. Help is available from the GOV.UK website at or from the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.

3. The deadline for Self Assessment returns is 31 January.

4. The penalties for late tax returns are:

  • an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time
  • after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900
  • after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
  • after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

5. There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months

6. Follow HMRC’s press office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice.

7. HMRC's Flickr channel:

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.