Taxman reveals top 10 terrible tax excuses

Tax return Self AssesmentTen of the most terrible excuses for missing the 31 January tax return deadline have been revealed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Many of the excuses claim it was someone else’s fault – pets, girlfriends, work colleagues and even the President of the United States are named and blamed for taxpayers’ tardiness.

The excuses were all used in unsuccessful appeals against HMRC penalties for late filing and payment. Here’s the full list:

  • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.
  • I fell in with the wrong crowd.
  • I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
  • Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
  • I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
  • A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
  • I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
  • My girlfriend’s pregnant.
  • I was in Australia.

HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

People can have a genuine excuse for missing a tax deadline, but owning a pet with a taste for HMRC envelopes isn’t one of them.

You need to file your 2013/14 tax return online, and pay what you owe, by 31 January. But it’s best to do it now, to allow plenty of time to sort out any issues with your return. That way, you’ll avoid the busy period for our phone lines as the deadline approaches.

Do you need to file a tax return? Why not get in touch with us – and save yourself the hassle of doing it yourself. Nine Ashes Bookkeeping is an independent accounting and bookkeeping firm based near Ongar, Essex. We provide affordable, knowledgeable, and professional accounting and bookkeeping services to small and medium sized businesses in Essex – serving the Brentwood, Chelmsford, Billericay, Harlow, Epping, Ongar and Ingatestone areas.

We will make sure your tax return is filed on time and, should you owe any tax, our expert tax knowledge means you will never pay more tax than you should.

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