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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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Hi, If I set up a nightclub/restaurant review website, what

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If I set up a nightclub/restaurant review website, what expenses could I put through?
I have experience in building up online subscribers, and would look to make money from online advertising and money back from venues.
Would I be able to put expenses incurred when out in these venues to then review them?
Hello Alan, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.
You may offset expenses wholly and necessarily incurred in the preparation of your reviews. You would have to be careful as to the exact detail of those claimed. It is very doubtful if, on investigation, HMRC discover that over expensive food and drink bills are included, whether they would be allowed in toto. The key words are 'wholly and necessarily incurred.' It might be adviseable to run your ideas across your tax office for guidance as to what they would consider reasonable.
I do hope that I have pointed you in the right direction, you need a definition of 'wholly and necessarily' in this rather special case.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Keith,

I am thinking along lines of

Revenue would hopefully come online advertising and money from clubs.

There seems very little info online.

Do you think if reviewing a nightclub it would be valid to take 3-4 friends, and say put through 2-3 drinks?

I'm not sure how you could give a valid review if did not buy some drinks?

And in a restaurant, would think you could take say one other person, and order a meal?

Where do you think could get more specialist advice if required?


I suggest that HMRC would view such an expense, entertaining friends, with a very jaundiced eye! However, you clearly could not give a proper review without buying the odd drink or review a restaurant without taking a meal. After all, the entertainment of employees is ab allowable expense whilst that of UK customer is not as opposed to overseas ones where the expenditure is allowable. Whether a companion would be appropriate is a moot point.

HMRC give some guidance in BIM 445031 as follows:

' There must be a direct link between the expenditure incurred and the payment received. It is not sufficient for entertaining expenditure to be a ‘normal’ cost of the trade, although see BIM45030for a discussion of the treatment of costs in relation to a service which is customary to a particular trade.'

This might provide the loophope for you expenses

As I told you, run it across your local HMRC inspector for an opinion. Your particular activity is highly specialised.

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