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  • Paul Clifton

Top 10 bizare excuses for HMRC for filing your tax return late

HMRC published their "Top 10 oddest excuses for late tax returns". There are no claims of being abducted by aliens. We we all eagerly await to see what people may dream up for this year's 31 January deadline... Hopefully, you’ve already filed your Self Assessment Tax Return for 2012-13. If you have then relax…….. and enjoy reading the list of 10 oddest excuses for late filing of tax returns. Penalties for late filing If your Tax Return is not filed by 31 January 2014, you will receive an automatic £100 late filing penalty, unless you have a reasonable excuse. If you have still not filed it by 30 April 2014, then you will start to receive a £10 per day additional penalty. The ‘Top 10’ list According to HMRC the following bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses have all been used by tardy taxpayers:

  1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder)

  2. I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer)

  3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman)

  4. My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader)

  5. My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser)

  6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer)

  7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver)

  8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man)

  9. Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm)

  10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).

HMRC notes that all of these people and businesses received a £100 penalty for filing late. They appealed against the decision using these excuses, but were unsuccessful in their efforts to convince anyone that the excuse was reasonable.

HMRC’s Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said: “There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them. “If you haven’t yet sent your 2013 tax return to HMRC, you need to do it online and pay the tax you owe by the end of January. With all the help and advice available, there’s no excuse not to.”

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