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The craziest things people have tried to expense at work

Filing your expenses at work is a strategic exercise. In addition to keeping receipts, there are typically restrictions on how much you can spend on travel, food, and supplies. While most employees follow the rules, a new survey reveals many try to game the system.

In December 2017, Certify, an expense reporting company, surveyed more than 375 business travelers about their craziest work expenses. Believe it or not, the CIO of a company once tried to expense a $6,500 helicopter ride to work. The CIO claimed that the helicopter was chartered in an attempt to make a client meeting, but the company rejected the expense nevertheless. Perhaps Uber would have been a more affordable choice.

One employee was approved for a hang glider purchase. That’s right, the Secretary Treasurer of a company said they were able to expense a $2,000 hang glider by explaining they wanted “to avoid divorce.” We’re not sure how hang gliding could save a marriage, but we’ll take their word for it.

A look at some of the odd items people have tried to expense at work. (Certify)

Other approved expenses include $134 for 40 kilos of cheese, $885 for a pair of leather pants that were damaged on a work desk, and $30 for a car wash because another employee spit on their vehicle. In that final scenario, it seems like expensing the $30 cleaning fee is the least that company could do.

In addition to the outlandish purchases, some employees tried to bend the rules in their favor. For instance, one employee tried to expense a $50 massage in lieu of their $50 dinner per diem. Did it get approved? No. But we respect their ingenuity.

Of the 375 professionals surveyed, 33% worked at a company with more than 1,000 employees.

What is the craziest thing you have tried to expense at work?

Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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