Whilst the odd cab fare or business lunch can be legitimately covered by the company credit card, with times getting tighter staff expenses claims are under renewed scrutiny. Whilst creative accountancy services can cover a multitude of spending sins, before you think about submitting your next expenses claim, why not test out its credibility against the totally ridiculous requests below.
The Mother of All Wigs
It would be impossible to embark on the list without mentioning ridiculous expenses claims made by MPs in recent years. First place goes to Lembit Opik, who purchased two wigs for a charitable event (named ‘The Mother of all Wigs” and the “Filmstar” respectively) for a combined total of £30.
Business Boob Job
Although business expenses are often associated with nine-to-five office jobs, spare a thought for an exotic dancer in the U.S who filed a claim to cover breast augmentation to take her breasts from a 56FF to a 56N. Appealing against a company ruling that this was a personal expense, eventually this claim was qualified by a judge as a ‘required condition of employment.’
Whilst vermin can be a big problem in any workplace, taking the matter into your hands is highly unusual matter by anyone’s standards. The owner of an American scrap yard was able to claim thousands in expenses for cat food to feed a cat that he maintained kept snakes away from the premises.
Wasps Nest Removal
From scales to stings now with another case of vermin eradication. The second MP creating a buzz in our list with his ridiculous expenses claim is Patrick McLoughlin who requested £158.63 for a wasp’s nest to be removed from a tree outside his home.
A sports journalist in the UK was caught out when he made the poorly judged decision to claim over £400 in car mileage expenses for just four journeys he made by bus. Over 60 hours of community service and a fine later, he hadn’t won any medals for his cunning.
Whilst employees undertaking business trips where they must travel abroad for work might reasonably incur expenses for food, accommodation and transport, our next candidate on the list – a businessman who hoped to be grinning all the way to the bank – was caught out when he submitted an expenses claim to the tune of £2,500 for a complete set of dental work during his trip to Hong Kong.
An Evening of Adult Entertainment
Wining and dining clients is a common practice in business circles across the world. However, James Kwon, maritime director for the Port of Oakland in California was reprimanded when he filed for expenses of nearly £3,000 for drinks and dinner at ‘D Houston Inc.’ Closer investigation as to why a meal for four cost such a princely sum revealed that this ‘restaurant’ was actually Treasures – a widely known strip club in Texas.
In some cases, a medical emergency could reasonably lead to unforeseen expenses – particularly for an employee on a business trip miles away from home. However, a diabetic who claimed for three chocolate bars found himself under criticism from his senior colleagues who questioned his dramatic statement that his ‘sugar intake was disrupted’.
Art Gallery Cups
The third MP making a mug of himself in our list is Michael Gove who came under criticism when he requested £20 to cover the purchase of some cups from the Tate Modern.
THAT Floating Duck Island
The final ridiculous expense claim in this list belongs to yet another MP. Unable to duck the bad press connected with the political scandal over expenses, Sir Peter Viggers claimed a whopping £1,645 to cover the production of a decorative island for the birds nesting in his garden pond.
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