The taxman has compiled a list of the most “bizarre and flimsy” excuses for sending in a late tax return, they include;
1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder)
2. I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer)
3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman)
4. My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader)
5. My husband told me the deadline was March 31, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser)
6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer)
7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver)
8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man)
9. Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm)
10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant)
All of the taxpayers on the “top oddest excuses” list received a £100 penalty for filing late. They used the listed reasons during appeals against HMRC’s decisions but they were unsuccessful.
Ruth Owen, the director general of personal tax, said: “There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. “However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them.”
The list was released to encourage the self-employed, and other taxpayers, to meet this year’s January 31 deadline. In all, 10.9 million people are due to file tax returns this month. The number required to fill in a self-assessment form has been inflated by changes to Child Benefit. Any household with an individual earning more than £50,000 must now complete the form if they still receive the benefit.
Meanwhile, the Revenue also revealed that while many people were seeing in 2014, 137 people filed their tax returns between 11pm and midnight on New Year’s Eve. A total of 26,905 returns were filed on New Year’s Eve, while 12,938 were submitted on New Year’s Day. HMRC previously said that more than 1,500 people found time on Christmas Day to submit their online tax returns.
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