Out of this World Excuses for Late Tax Returns Revealed

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June 25th 2018
Week 12
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Out of this World Excuses for Late Tax Returns Revealed

The annual list of top excuses for late tax returns and unbelievable expense claims was released today.

Every year as the deadline for the online tax return approaches, HMRC releases a table of the top 'worst late tax return excuses' along with the top 'worst expense claims'.

Last year an attempt to claim for a Caribbean holiday was made - along with a company buying luxury watches for its employees (the company had no employees!).

This year the worst expenses list is topped by a person claiming a three-piece sofa suite and the reason? it is for their partner to sit on while doing the accounts. Not sure that falls under 'wholly and exclusively' for business. Maybe they should have claimed a portion of it within home as an office expenses. See our expenses calculator for a breakdown on what really can be claimed and how much you could shrink your tax bill!

Other wild expense claims included:

  • A birthday party at a nightclub in Glasgow.
  • Veterinary bills for a pet Rabbit.
  • Hotel room service - maybe OK... but this was for candles and prosecco.
  • £4.50 sausage and chips meal for every workday. That's around £1,125 worth.

Previous years have seen excuses for submitting late tax returns range from dead goldfishes to cow fights and yacht fires and the odd excuses trend continues this year with Aliens. Yes, a taxpayer's wife was seeing aliens and wouldn't let her partner into the house to presumably complete his tax return.

Other wild excuses include:

  • Too busy touring country on one-man play.
  • Tax return paperwork is upstairs and I suffer from vertigo.
  • My business did not do anything. (This excuse has made an appearance before!)
  • Coffee spilled on my tax return.

If people have a genuine reason to expect their tax return to be late, or paid late, they should get in touch with HMRC (0300 200 3310) now. With around two weeks to go until the deadline the Taxman should be lenient and could provide favourable terms. The alternative is an automatic £100 fine and an escalating level of penalty charges.

If you want to get an estimate of what your tax bill could be - use our multiple income calculator here and you can estimate your payments here.

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