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Office / Company Dog

Is an office / company dog an allowable expense?

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a client is planning on buying a office / company dog. The thought being that the dog would be used in social media campaigns to promote (a totally unrelated) product. The idea being that who doesn’t love a puppy / dog! 

The dog would go to the office every day and live with the director on an evening and weekend. The dog would also accompany the dicrector to sales meetings etc. and be kitted out in company merch. (Collar)

my inital thought would be capitalise the cost of the pooch (not sure about capital allowances?) and expense all related expenditure (pet insurance food etc) and add back 50% of this on the tax comp. 

very interest to hear others view in this. 

Thanks in advance! :)

Replies (38)

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By andy.partridge
10th Dec 2018 22:11

You’re thinking this is a pool dog, not the director’s?
Is the dog equally available to all employees and if it is you will want to consider where it is usually kept overnight.
Do remember it’s a case of whether the dog is available to the director, rather than the director being available for the dog.

Thanks (4)
Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
10th Dec 2018 21:22

I recently had a (new) client explain what the claim for “security” was, in their accounts.
It transpired, it was Charlie, the office pooch!
Apparently, the previous accountant allowed the claim.
Begs the question; wholly and exclusively?

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By Mr_awol
10th Dec 2018 21:54

Sounds to me like the dog is an employee and is being provided with accommodation, clothing, and meals. You could have some P11D issues

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Replying to Mr_awol:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
10th Dec 2018 23:33

Did it have a NINO?

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By Mr_awol
11th Dec 2018 09:20

FIDO no NINO

Thanks (3)
RLI
By lionofludesch
11th Dec 2018 08:01

There are situations where dogs can be considered plant.

This isn't one of them.

Thanks (1)
Replying to lionofludesch:
By SteveHa
11th Dec 2018 08:13

lionofludesch wrote:

There are situations where dogs can be considered plant.

This isn't one of them.

Cauli dog?

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plant
By HugillSam
11th Dec 2018 08:43

Hi all thanks for the replies, i cant help but chuckle at some of these responses, but never the less!

the company only has one employee / director so it wouldn't be considered a "pool" dog.

the dog wouldn't be used for security more "head of PR"

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By spidersong
11th Dec 2018 09:15

Remember a dog is for life, not just for tax planning.

Thanks (3)
Replying to spidersong:
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By Mr_awol
11th Dec 2018 09:23

Indeed. Don't let the tax tail wag the commercial dog, and all that.

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By JCresswellTax
11th Dec 2018 09:20

You wouldn't add back 50% on the tax comp for a limited company though would you?

Got to be a company asset used privately by the director.

Thanks (1)
Replying to JCresswellTax:
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By Mr_awol
11th Dec 2018 13:13

the ad-back does sound a little far-fetched to me...…..

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
11th Dec 2018 09:26

There are 8750 ish hours in the year

How many of those hours is the dog 'working' ?

Its an absolutely howling claim, i'd tell your client to whistle.

Thanks (3)
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By lesley.barnes
11th Dec 2018 09:40

I've just woken up office dog to get his opinion and its a no from him. Jeff says he wants to remain off payroll because he doesn't want to declare the gifts he gets from clients. His sole role in life between eating, sleeping and walkies is to calm down nervous clients and see off stroppy ones. (Christmas is coming no wine and chocs for me from clients just dog biscuits, chews and toys).
On a serious note animals on social media can earn a fortune for their owners.

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
By slipknot08
13th Dec 2018 12:43

I'm working at home today and can barely hear myself think over the blissful snoring of my two... they're lying in the hall, all eight paws in the air, chasing dream bunny rabbits after their walk in the woods with Mr Slipknot this morning... they might wake up for a little light woofing practice a bit later.
I wish I could take them to the (proper) office with me every day, but alas, I am informed that two flatcoated retrievers constitutes an attractive nuisance (i.e. no-one would get any work done, because they're too busy tickling tummies and having sneaky snuggles)... and apparently, people actually like to eat the lunch they bring in, not gift it to two furry little blaggers <3 <3 <3

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Replying to slipknot08:
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By Dib
13th Dec 2018 13:24

Ah yes, flatties! Nice but dim and clumsy. Friend has one that came from a breeder who breeds flatties and miniature long haired dachshunds. Seems a bit of a lethal (for the dachshunds) mix.

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Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
11th Dec 2018 09:45

Try the vegan argument that the dog is a companion that happens to live with the client as opposed to a pet.

Your client is simply enabling the dog, viewed as nothing but an animal by society, to fulfill its dreams of earning a living and making its own way in the world, free of the shackle of human oppression.

Free my domesticated brothers!

Thanks (5)
Replying to Lone_Wolf:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
11th Dec 2018 10:01

We are " simply enabling the dog, viewed as nothing but an animal by society, to fulfill its dreams of earning a living and making its own way in the world"

This was an election broadcast by the Conservative Party, #on yer bike

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Replying to DJKL:
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By Philipbwood
14th Dec 2018 11:33

Surely it must have been Caroline Lucas on behalf of the Green Party?

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Tom Herbert
By Tom Herbert
11th Dec 2018 09:54

It's good to check this one - you wouldn't want your client to be collared by HMRC and end up a little melan-collie.

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By alfredpennypinch
11th Dec 2018 09:57

I wouldn't bother.

You can only claim a pound.

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By Hugh Simpson
11th Dec 2018 12:25

Timely placed above the_drookit_dug.

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By Duggimon
11th Dec 2018 13:59

You'll need to watch what you're feeding the dog as a high emissions figure will mean capital allowances are only available at a reduced rate.

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plant
By HugillSam
11th Dec 2018 14:06

well, there it is the my first and last post!

thanks all the same :)

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Replying to HugillSam:
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By andy.partridge
11th Dec 2018 14:33

Don't be like that. Everyone loves a good shaggy dog story.

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By Justin Bryant
11th Dec 2018 14:35

Be careful. I've heard this is one of HMRC's pet hates.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By andy.partridge
11th Dec 2018 15:01

Too many make a dog's breakfast of their argument.

Welcome to pun city.

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By Mark_NW
11th Dec 2018 15:05

If this claim succeeds I am sure you could Winalot of new business.

Joking aside, don't get hot under the collar, try not to be hounded by your client and take time to paws and reflect. HMRC's bark is worse than their bite.

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By Vile Nortin Naipaan
11th Dec 2018 15:18

I know I shouldn't swear, but 'kennel!

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By Angus Wood
14th Dec 2018 10:05

We had a similar query ourselves when we bought an office fish to manage the firm's internal payroll function.

The guy who sold us the fish reckoned it would live for more than two years so we capitalised it and claimed "carp"-ital allowances

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Replying to Angus Wood:
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By andy.partridge
14th Dec 2018 10:27

Have you fin-ished? Thank [***] for that.

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By Philipbwood
14th Dec 2018 11:31

Our office Labrador, George, keeps up his CPD and so far has attended an ICAEW insolvency course, apparently the only Labrador to have done so, a District Society tax course and regularly pays attention to 2020 update webinars. Is that sufficient evidence to be entitled to a wage?

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Replying to Philipbwood:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
15th Dec 2018 09:30

You’re not Harry Rednapp’s accountant are you?

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By Tax Dragon
15th Dec 2018 07:53

Has there been a fur pun yet?

Am I right in thinking that a company owner and director has bought a dog - and possibly a collar and some dog food - and then thought "that would be tax deductible if the company paid for it"?

Be honest. Would s/he have bought the dog anyway? Yes, of course. So I think it sounds like a personal expense paid for (if you don't pop it on DLA) by the company. You know how to treat those.

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
15th Dec 2018 10:56

The firm (partnership) I trained at had 3 goldfish in reception, named Debit, Credit and Suspense.

Debit died so Suspense got renamed Debit ( can’t have a credit w/o a debit).

Anyway, I never did hear as to what the tax treatment of the fish, fish food & fish accessories was.

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By chasmeehan
16th Dec 2018 10:52

Farmers, Emergency Services, Customs and Military all have working dogs while animal rescue charities as well as breeders own, care fore and sell on dogs - so actually quite a lot of examples

https://www.freeagent.com/guides/expenses/animal-care/

covers the capital point while there seems a lot of VAT interest

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/vat-and-working-dogs

Food for working dogs is exempt for VAT
https://www.butler-co.co.uk/articles/FoodForWorkingDogs.pdf

Finally gies a head up on recoverable expenses
Tax treatment of agricultural workers: Provision of a Dog Allowance
https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim50020

The amounts that HMRC accepts as reasonable are the maximum amounts specified for this purpose in any of the current Agricultural Wages Orders operating anywhere within the UK.

For the year 2015 onwards the maximum amount specified is £7.63 per week for each working dog.

I am aware that a whisky bond used to keep a flock of geese as watchdogs so dogs owned by businesses may not be that weird

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Replying to chasmeehan:
RLI
By lionofludesch
16th Dec 2018 11:04

chasmeehan wrote:
Food for working dogs is exempt for VAT

Never heard such rubbish. ©

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Replying to chasmeehan:
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By Tax Dragon
16th Dec 2018 12:34

Have you read the job descriptions for working dogs on farms, in the military, Customs etc? They tend not to be "go to the office every day and live with the director on an evening and weekend", as in the OP.

You're right that tax relief does arise in some cases. But, for me, JCresswellTax was right. Whatever the truth in the instant case, the answer won't be a 50% addback.

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