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One of the best things about being an accountant (yes there are some) is the ability to get up close and personal with some of the best businesses on the planet.  What’s not so great is being a messenger for the IRD.  Early in my career, I had an incredibly uncomfortable meeting with an elderly gent who just wouldn’t believe it was illegal to claim his glasses and hearing aid, even though he needed them to do his job.  It was quite the battle, I can tell you, so instead of boring him with legislation I told him about the court case where a personal trainer was sentenced, to home detention, for claiming running shoes and that even plain clothes police were taxed on their clothing allowance.

Now, I’m not saying it’s fair. Personally, I’m on your side but is there a way around these laws?  The answer is advertising.   I don’t know how you feel about having your business branding plastered all over your designer jeans but it’s one way to make them tax deductible.  Without advertising, most clothes fail under the scrutiny of a ‘brown-trousered’ tax investigator (unless they’re uniforms or health and safety wear).  We’d hate you to get caught out so why not quizz yourself to see if you can pick what’s deductible below?

“Life, as a business owner, isn’t perfect but your outfit can be”

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Boutique Financial Chartered Accountants & Business Commentators

Copyright © 2017 Boutique Financial Limited Chartered Accountants Auckland All Rights Reserved. This publication must be read in accordance with the attached disclaimer and does not provide an exhaustive statement of tax law.

Have you ever tried to read a volume of tax legislation?  It’s like a Twistaplot where the ending is always no.  Even seasoned law students are regularly horrified by how tough the tax paper is at Otago University. Amusing then, isn’t it, that your average tom, dick and harry thinks tax is easy and that telling a darn good story will let them claim whatever they like. Personally I love a great story but have you ever tried telling a tearjerker to a computer?  Essentially the IRD is one large computer system chock a block with tax law, devoid of human emotion and logic.  So no matter how touching (or delusional) your story may be, if it doesn’t fit neatly into a box at the IRD, the computer will inevitably say no.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a selection of our all time favourite “doozy” stories below (which have absolutely no regard for tax law whatsoever but make for more amusing reading than tax compliant tales).  Are you guilty of these financial fibs?

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