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Dog Expenses

Dog Expenses

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I have a client who is a sole trade builder and he takes his dog (which is a domestic pet) out with him to work every day to help guard his van and tools when on site. Are any expenses relating to the upkeep of the dog (I'm thinking particularly of feeding the dog during the day) allowable expenses against the business? Obviously he wouldn't be able to claim all expenses because the dog is not used in this capacity full time, and when not at work the dog goes home with him and is treated as a domestic pet.

The rules and legislation I found on HMRC's website is very vague with regards to it, and refers mostly to full time guard dogs.

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By pauld
09th Sep 2014 15:38

I think you are barking up the wrong tree


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By mrme89
09th Sep 2014 15:40

From what you have described the dog is a primarily, if not wholly a pet, and taking it to work is a mere convenience.


I presume the van has locks and possibly an alarm. If tools are taken out of the van, I wouldn't expect that a dog would be allowed to roam around on a building site (even if on a lead) and would expect the dog to be left in the van most of the day.


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By ShirleyM
09th Sep 2014 16:04

It's a try on

While it is admirable for the client not to leave a dog alone at home for hours on end, it can be dangerous to leave a dog in a vehicle during hot days and would necessitate leaving the windows open, or some other means of keeping the interior cool. If the windows are open, then surely the vehicle and it's contents are less secure? If the dog is taken out of the van, then how does it 'guard it'? I doubt very much that there is a nice cool garage to park in while he's working on site.

What breed it is? Is it a Rottie, a Pit Bull or a little Jack Russell?

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By Kirkers
09th Sep 2014 16:11

Also - you say he wants to claim for the dog's food.

Surely the dog would eat the same food in a van as he would at home all day.


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Replying to J Russell:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
09th Sep 2014 16:14

agree with Kirkers

There's no incremental expenditure.

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By cathyne
09th Sep 2014 19:29

Mine's a JR/Collie

And I take it to work, to safeguard me against unruly clients and cold callers and cats

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By Manchester_man
09th Sep 2014 19:49

You say "I'm thinking particularly of feeding the dog during the day"

You would have to prove to / convince HMRC that the dog wouldn't otherwise need feeding during the day.

Alas, it's a lost cause!

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By pr27
09th Sep 2014 20:16

A client in a firm I once worked in ran (and lived) in a hotel. His cat's food, litter and insurance was put through the business as he is an expert 'mouse catcher'. The partner happily put it through!

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By Jekyll and Hyde
10th Sep 2014 12:23

does he keep the dog in the van all day everyday?
If so please report your client to RSPCA. If not then how is he guarding the van?

Thanks (1)
By daveforbes
13th Sep 2014 17:48

CIS scheme required

I think the client needs to set up a CIS scheme and hold back 30% of Fido's pedigree chum.

Thanks (3)
By andrew.hyde
12th Sep 2014 12:39

Reminds me of an old story

In the days when England played Scotland annually at footie, an England supporter drove up to Glasgow to see the match in his new Jaguar. 

Parking in the back streets of Mount Florida, the Jag owner was approached by two scruffy lads.  "Five quid  to look after yer nice new car, Muster?" said one.  Pointing to a large Alsatian in the car, the man said: "Thanks boys, but he looks after my car for me."

"Puts out fires does he?" asked the lad...

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By D. Viv
12th Sep 2014 12:47

not wholly, exclusively and necessarily

 I`d say that the dog is not kept wholly, exclusively and necessarily for the business, so he shouldn`t claim any expenses for it. 

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By David Gordon FCCA
12th Sep 2014 13:14

Actually you may

 It depends on the circumstances.

 I had a client whose "Pet" could put its head through my Volvo 760 window without lifting its feet off the ground. The client was the subject of the Animal Rights mob's attention.

 A client whose building site was continually targeted.

 A couple of "Countryside " business clients.

 Costs for properly trained working and or guard dogs, may be allowed. In any case many  genuine working dogs are not suitable house pets.


 Or as my then manager remarked, if it has puppies I suppose you will treat it as additions to Fixtures & Fittings?





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12th Sep 2014 14:41

Worth a try

I once bought a terraced house to use as an office ... as the area gradually went downhill, I started to take out pet dog there and claimed for about 50% of his food and vet's bills whilst doing this, told HMRC what I was doing and why I was claiming for this, and had no problems for the whole of the 4-year period I was using our pet dog as a vandal deterrent.

Pet though this dog most definitely was, you wouldn't want to try and break into the house whilst he was resident ... ......

As an aside, before my wife became my wife, she lived with a musician in Birmingham. One night they came downstairs to find a man's finger on the carper near a broken window in the living room ... the police said that if it hadn't been for the dog, the lady and her boyfriend would probably have had their heads cut off, as happened later to the person living next door, as the intruders had been caught by the dog whilst trying to jemmy the window off its hinges.

Naturally enough, they didn't stay there that much longer........

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By Matt V
12th Sep 2014 14:59

This reminds me of a story I read in (I think) taxation a few years ago.  A publican was trying to claim various costs for his dog as a deduction but a HMRC inspector was looking to disallow them.  The publican claimed the dog was guarding the cash upstairs on the premises.  The Inspector didn't agree, so the publican told the inspector if he went upstairs and could get to the cash he would withdraw the expense claim.  The Inspector refused to go upstairs and allowed the expense in full!

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By Stalytax
12th Sep 2014 17:12

Scrapyard dogs

I've a client with a scrapyard who claims for a dog's upkeep, however it is a psycho and definitely not a pet, it gets shut up during the working day, but let out to bite chunks out of people who turn up to help themselves to car parts at night. Oddly, despite the fact it makes it very clear it would like to eat me, when the wife and I called by after work one winter's night (while the owner was there!), it wandered into the office with my wife's mittens on its ears - it just let her do it - sexist dog!

I have a cat here 24/7 to guard clients' records from being eaten by mice, but I haven't claimed for him.


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