HMRC has revealed some of the most ‘bizarre excuses’ taxpayers have given for failing to file their self assessment tax return on time.
The majority of people complete their tax returns honestly and on time, however every year HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receives some outlandish excuses and expense claims. Here are a few:
Excuses included ‘I’m too short to reach the post box’, and ‘my boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type’. One taxpayer claimed that a junior member of staff ‘forgot to wear their glasses’, and accidentally registered a client for self assessment. Another told HMRC that their mother-in-law was a witch, and that she had put a curse on the taxpayer, which prevented them from filing their tax return on time.
In addition to these excuses, HMRC also stated that, every year, they receive some unconvincing expenses claims.
One individual attempted to claim £40 for ‘extra woolly underwear’, whilst another taxpayer tried to claim £756 for pet insurance. Meanwhile, a carpenter attempted to claim £900 for a 55-inch TV and sound bar, which he claimed would ‘help him price his jobs’.
HMRC Director General of Customer Services, Angela MacDonald, said:
‘Help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time, but it’s unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims.’
HMRC stated all these excuses and claims were unsuccessful.
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Last year almost 750,000 people missed the tax return deadline, which leads to an initial £100 penalty that increases over time.
The deadline for sending 2017/18 Self Assessment tax returns to HMRC, and paying any outstanding liabilities, was 31 January 2019.
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