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10 of the weirdest thing’s taxpayers have tried to claim on their tax returns

The ATO has recently spoken about all the weird and wonderful expenses that people have attempted to claim on their tax returns, so we dug a little deeper to see how far the Australian taxpayers have gone to get a bigger refund. Even we were shocked with some of these.

10 of the weirdest thing’s taxpayers have tried to claim on their tax returns

1. The pet dog

This is more common than you would think. Taxpayers have made attempts to claim their pets as guard dogs. Sometimes it is feasible, but a Maltese Terrier? Probably not…

2. General living expenses

Needing to “eat and sleep to stay alive to go to work”, does not make your groceries and rent directly work-related.

3. Gambling losses, alcohol, and cigarettes

These taxpayers were attempting to claim these costs for relieving stresses brought on by work.

4. A wedding reception

In the 2017 financial year, someone tried to deduct $58k of wedding expenses, claiming it was in relation to an overseas work trip.

5. Events & parties

Yep, from kid’s birthday celebrations to the cost of a funeral wake, everything from cake and decorations to booze.

6. A weekend getaway

Again, this person claimed they needed a holiday for stress relief from their job. If this were actually deductible, I think work “stress” in Australia would be through the roof!

7. Gifts claimed as donations

Massages and Lego sets purchased for loved ones are not seen by the Commissioner as genuine charitable donations.

8. A drone

An IT manager tried to claim a drone as a work-related without any explanation.

9. Breast implants

Those working in the adult entertainment industry can claim a number of unusual deductions but there is an ongoing argument (untested – as far as we are aware) that breast implants should be made deductible as a “tool of the trade”.

10. A mankini

I think this one takes the cake. A taxpayer attempted to claim a Borat-style mankini for a colleague to “improve morale in the workplace”. It’s safe to say, the claim was denied.

We have seen some of these firsthand in our experience. What will they think of next?

All these deductions have raised suspicion and the taxpayers were ultimately penalised for their deliberate wrongdoing.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on (02) 4934 4260 or email us on

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