Personal expenses tax case

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Decorator’s wife paints herself into tax hole


A Margate woman who attempted to pass off the family’s living costs and treats as business expenses when doing the accounts for her husband’s business has received a jail sentence for committing an £18,000 tax fraud, following an HMRC investigation say Harris & Co chartered accountants, the specialist small business accountants.

Amanda Tillings was responsible for looking after the accounts for her husband’s painting and decorating business and for submitting his tax returns. However, she overinflated business expenses between 2010 and 2014 to claim tax repayments that were not due on a range of items.

When challenged by officers from HMRC, Tillings admitted that many of the expenses had been claimed incorrectly.

During the investigation Tillings was found to have included expenses for a bereavement notice placed in the local paper for her father-in-law, a personalised number plate, road tax for a convertible Mercedes Benz, ladies’ shoes, a vet’s bill for an animal named ‘Buster’, the family’s weekly food shopping and even a new car for their daughter.

Tillings pleaded guilty to the offence at Canterbury Crown Court and has been sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work.

A compensation order was made for her to repay the full £18,706.

This is an interesting tax case as we often see people trying to claim personal expenses because their mate down the pub told them to do it as he gets away with it. We recently had a client who tried to claim her clothes and gym membership as a business expenses and seemed most surprised when we advised her that she could not!


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