Good try, But no you definitely can't claim that…

Expenses – What you Can’t Claim as a Contractor (& some of the strangest requests we have had!)

  • Expenses

Whether you are new to contracting or a seasoned contractor the topic of claimable expenses remains cloudy for many…

At Icon we have created videos & blogs covering general expenses and frequently requested topics like ‘home office expenses’ but we understand there are always more questions and always some remaining grey areas of what counts as a claimable business expense.

We have compiled the most frequent (an unusual) expenses queries we get at Icon Accounting of expenses you CANNOT claim. So, before you buy that golf membership or upgrade the kitchen table to serve as your new desk make sure you read this…


Sorry your trip to sunnier climates does not count as an allowable business expense- though we wish it did too!

We have clients who try to claim holidays abroad, justifying it as a business trip,  in one case we had a client who tried to expense a trip to Maldives…justification was that he chose to go there with the other director in order to hold the AGM of the company….Co-incidentally himself and the other director only got married the week before… a curious coincidence !


A night out with your friends is not an allowable business expense. We had one former client who spent a large sum of money in a “gentlemans club” – apparently, he was trying to get his contract extended and brought the Project Manager on a night out

I hope he got a rate rise in next renewal; we definitely won’t be explaining that one to the Revenue auditor!


Golf clubs, Golf club membership, Golf trips. Golf is a common thread with our clients, unfortunately it’s not possible to claim this as a business expense. While it’s a great way to network & do business it’s difficult to justify the wholly, exclusively for business needs and necessary test with Revenue. So, you will have to work on the handicap outside of business hours on this one!

Home improvements

Whilst improvements to a home office can be deemed allowable in certain circumstances, the purchase of fridge/freezers, wine cooler and a €3,000 kitchen table would certainly not be allowed by our friends in Dublin Castle- yep people have asked us! though we do like the idea of a wine cooler in the office!

Children’s Gifts

We have had some strange requests over the years, particularly at Christmas, these include Kids bicycles, PlayStation, Lego, and dollhouses…

Tax tip for Xmas, do not buy I pads, children’s bikes under the bike to work scheme, a 2nd I-phone or jewellery for your partner. If it’s not for the business, it’s not an allowable expense believe us!

Valentine’s Day

 Every year we have client’s going on “business trips” around the 14th of February, usually for the weekend to a conference. This is a big NO NO as it is something Revenue always looks out for!


A curved TV… back when they cost €2k and certainly did not make the cut when described as a 2nd monitor for the laptop…. hmmm

Pet Food

Pet food for the company “guard dog”... That happens to be a whippet. We’re afraid that Fido’s dinner will have to come from your pocket instead

Teeth Whitening

Yepee have been asked! While your teeth will look beautiful on zoom, I doubt the taxman cares much for your pearly whites

(Very) Personal Subscriptions

When we say ‘subscriptions’ can be expensed we are talking about your Zoom subscription or professional body annual membership fees. Plenty of Fish & Grindr don’t count sorry folks and make for awkward conversations with your account manager – trust us!


Gerard Kiernan


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Icon Accounting, Columba House, Airside,
Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland, K67 R2Y9
+353 1 8077106