The general rule for employees: expenses: dealing with expenses: what evidence should be provided?
It’s not normally necessary to ask an employee to submit detailed evidence of expenditure in the form of receipts. This is particularly the case where similar claims are submitted each year and they have been examined and found to be acceptable in the past. Only ask for receipts when you feel you need them.
If the amount for which the employee has requested a deduction is substantial and:
- out of proportion to the nature of the expense
- based on estimates
you should ask for appropriate evidence that the expense has been incurred.
If the evidence produced is not satisfactory, a deduction should not be permitted where the amounts are substantial. The onus is on the employee to show that he or she has spent identifiable sums on deductible expenses. In the case of McLeish v CIR (38TC1) a deduction was not permitted for certain expenses for which the employee failed to present adequate evidence.
You can accept a reasonable estimate where the evidence produced is not satisfactory but the amounts involved are small and it’s clear that the employee must have incurred some deductible expense.