Aliens, vertigo and other excuses

Tax Diary February/March 2018
January 23, 2018
Businesses urged to prepare for stronger data protection laws
January 29, 2018

Aliens, vertigo and other excuses

A recent press release by HMRC revealed some of the oddest excuses for submitting a late tax return. The excuses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and included:

  1. I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house.
  2. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play.
  3. My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go upstairs to retrieve it.
  4. My business doesn’t really do anything.
  5. I spilt coffee on it.

HMRC also revealed that taxpayers have tried to make expense claims for such random items as a three-piece suite for my partner to sit on when I’m doing my accounts, and £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days.

HMRC’s Director General of Customer Services, Angela MacDonald, said:

‘Each year we’re making it easier and more intuitive for our customers to complete their tax return, but each year we still come across some questionable excuses, whether that’s blaming a busy touring schedule or seeing aliens. However, help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time.’

Taxpayers are reminded that the deadline for submitting 2016-17 self assessment tax returns online is 31 January 2018. Taxpayers should also be aware that payment of any tax due should also be made by this date. This includes both the payment of any balance of self assessment liability for the 2016-17, plus any payment on account due for the current 2017-18 tax year.

HMRC also recommends that you make contact, if you think you are likely to miss the deadline stating that ‘the earlier we’re contacted, the more help we can offer‘.

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