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On the Company’s Time

tax man

A while back, a fellow regular in the local (who runs his own business) told this correspondent of a cheque he’d received from the tax office, for expenses he’d put in for, from the tax-man. As someone who’d never claimed back expenses, in any jobs worked at, your correspondent was interested to know how it worked. Your correspondent friend endeavoured to explain the different types of expenses he claims back from the tax-man e.g. petrol for the company vehicle, bill for phone-line usage, & VAT on equipment purchased for the business……….. and summed up by saying that you can be put in for any expense provided it relates to the Business.

This correspondent was reminded of that conversation recently after reading about the ex-chairman of the BBC George Howard (1980-1983) who once gave his secretary a signed expense form (to give to the finance department at the BBC), putting in for the expense of hiring a prostitute while travelling on the Orient Express. According to the BBC historian Jean Seaton, George’s secretary (who subsequently had a nervous breakdown) left the expense form in a safe for his replacement to find, as a warning of the type of work she might have to deal with.

George’s secretary it appears had enough savvy not to pass the expense form on to the finance department, knowing presumably that the hire of a prostitute could not be squared with the business of looking after the interests of TV licence fee-payers or the business of regulating at the BBC (George’s job).

However George’s peccadillo on the orient express & subsequent stupidity with the expenses form got this correspondent to thinking of any business where it would be appropriate to put in for the hire of a prostitute as an expense?

After giving it a bit of thought, your correspondent came up with the following situation he believes would be appropriate to claim back on the expense of hiring a prostitute- being a performer short while managing an Amsterdam sex-show.

In this circumstance your correspondent would imagine that the sex-show company’s finance department / or the tax-man (if you are the sex-show company’s owner) would have to accept that the hiring of a prostitute for cover, to produce a sex-show is an expense that is as appropriate to that business as a square peg is to a square hole.

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