HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have long been aware that business owners sometimes try to claim tax relief as a business expense on what are essentially items of private expenditure.

Recently, it has been reported that owners of horseboxes are being targeted by HMRC where the purchase of the horsebox and its running costs are being claimed as business expenses, especially when the personal benefit to the business owners and/or their families is not declared as a taxable benefit in kind.

With the cost of horseboxes running into tens of thousands of pounds, any enquiry into this area is likely to prove expensive for the taxpayer concerned.

HMRC have access to masses of data to support such enquiries, including to the national car registration database, as well as to public sources of information such as Google Street View.

Business assets used for private purposes create tax liabilities, and HMRC have a long history of targeting claims relating to high value assets that have private use, such as yachts.


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