"I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house."

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With only a few weeks to go until the deadline for Self-Assessment HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has released a number of unusual excuses for late tax returns.

The excuses, made by self-assessment customers include: “I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play”; “My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go upstairs to retrieve it”; and “My business doesn’t really do anything.”

As well as the excuses, HMRC also receives some questionable expense claims: “A three-piece suite for my partner to sit on when I’m doing my accounts”; “Birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub”; and “Vet fees for a rabbit.”

The excuses and expenses listed above were all rejected.

The deadline for filing your tax return is Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

“Failing to file your tax return on time will cost you £100, you will pay more the later it gets,” said Peter Way-Rider, Tax Manager at Ellis & Co.

“You will also receive a fine if you fail to pay your tax bill on time."

The penalties for late tax returns are:

  • 1 day late an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time
  • 3 months late, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900. This is as well as the fixed penalty
  • 6 months late, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; This is additional to the penalties above.
  • 12 months late, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater. This is additional to the penalties above.

There are also additional penalties for paying tax late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.