“My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me”

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Only eight days to go until the deadline for sending 2018-19 self-assessment tax returns.

Not only is Friday, January 31 the final day for completing tax returns online, it is also the day HMRC begin to receive unusual excuses from people who failed to complete their returns on time.

To mark the new decade, HMRC has released some of the most ‘imaginative’ excuses for missing the deadline they have received over the last 10 years.

The excuses made by self-assessment customers include:

  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal
  • My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me
  • My dog ate the post … again
  • I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land
  • A DJ was too busy with a party lifestyle – spinning the deck….in a bowls club.*

“Each year, we try to make it as easy and simple as possible for our customers to complete their tax returns and the majority make the effort to do theirs’ right and on time,” said Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services.

“But we still come across some unusual excuses and expenses, which range from problems with a mother-in-law to yachts set on fire.

“We always offer help to those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time. It is unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims.

“If you think you might miss the 31 January deadline, get in touch,” she added.

As well as the above excuses, HMRC also receive some ‘dubious’ expenses claims including:

  • Caravan rental for the Easter weekend
  • Claiming £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days
  • A music subscription so I can listen to music while I work
  • Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’*

All the above excuses and expenses were unsuccessful in their appeals against HMRC.

Be sure not to miss the deadline date of Friday, January 31, 2020 or you could be joining millions of others in the UK and incur an automatic fine of £100.

Failing to file your tax return on time will cost you £100, you will pay more the later it gets.

 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.

Here at Ellis & Co we will prepare your self-assessment tax return for you and submit it promptly, so you won’t need to ‘make up’ any excuses.

For further information about tax returns or any other tax matter contact Ellis & Co on 01244 343504. 

*www.gov.uk