Deadline is January 31: HMRC publishes annual list of bizarre excuses for filing a late tax return

Each year HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) receives a number of unusual excuses from self-assessment customers who didn’t complete their tax return on time.

From delays caused by a witch’s curse put on them by their mother-in-law, to a broken boiler which left them too cold to type, HMRC has once again received a number if interesting and somewhat amusing reasons used in unsuccessful appeals against penalties for late returns.

One person said they were unable to submit paperwork on time as they had been busier than normal due to issues with their maids, with another saying they were hampered by being too short to reach a post box.

The Revenue also detailed some of the more unique expense claims filed, including one for a music subscription so the taxpayer could listen to music while they worked, woolly underwear, and a carpenter claiming for a TV and sound bar to help him price jobs.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, 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.”

Meanwhile, commenting in the Times on the complexity of tax rules, Anne Ashworth says they have increased “despite pledges that simplification was under way.”

Whilst some of the excuses are humorous, the filing of a tax return on time is in fact a more serious matter and can result in substantial penalties.

The deadline of 31 January 2019 for sending 2017-18 self-assessment tax returns to HMRC, and paying any tax owed, is fast approaching, so contact us for assistance and to ensure you remain compliant.
Our experts at Beavis Morgan take the hassle of dealing with HMRC away from you, so you don’t need to deal directly with them. We are also able to advise on all aspects of tax whether compliance or planning.

Please contact your usual Beavis Morgan contact for further information and assistance.

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