In Brief

HMRC’s top five excuses for late tax filings

Britons blame aliens, vertigo and rabbits for late filings

aliens.jpg

The Week can only apologise for this harsh reminder, but the deadline for filing self-assessment tax returns to HMRC is fast approaching. 

By the time 31 January rolls around, we all try our hardest to have all our papers in order, our spreadsheets ready and our wallet primed. However, according to tales published by HMRC, not everyone is quite so organised, and each year the taxman receives some imaginative, bizarre, and even paranormal claims about why people have been unable to fill out their forms on time.

Late tax-returns are fined an initial £100 fixed penalty and, after three months, £10 daily penalties to a maximum of £900, the Daily Record says, which prompts some British taxpayers to get creative in an attempt to avoid the penalities.

Here are the Top 5 most unusual tax return excuses revealed by HMRC:

  • My wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house.
  • My ex-wife left the tax return upstairs and I cannot retrieve it because I suffer from vertigo.
  • I've been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play.
  • I spilled coffee on it.
  • My business doesn't really do anything.

The Daily Telegraph added a list of the top five failed expenses claims for late returns:

  • A three-piece suite for my partner to sit on when I'm doing my accounts
  • Birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub
  • Vet fees for a rabbit
  • Hotel room service - for candles and prosecco
  • £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days

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