The worst excuses for late tax returns
HMRC has revealed the top 10 most bizarre excuses they received from taxpayers who didn’t complete their tax return on time.
From blaming the postman and the dog for eating tax returns, the following excuses were all used in unsuccessful appeals against HMRC penalties:
- My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.
- A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
- My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
- My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders.
- I couldn’t complete my tax return because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant.
- My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn’t able to send it back.
- I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
- My husband told me the deadline was the 31 March.
- My internet connection failed.
- The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.
The deadline for sending 2016-17 self-assessment tax returns to HMRC, and paying any tax owed, is 31 January 2018.
Although it’s only a small minority who chance their arm. Are you one of the minority? Please don’t fall into that category. Is it really worth the aggravation of a fine of up to £900?
HMRC said that customers who provide a reasonable excuse before the deadline can avoid a penalty after this date.
However, the excuse must be genuine and HMRC might ask for evidence.
The Revenue said that the above excuses were all declined on the basis that they were either untrue or not good enough reasons.
David Buxton said ‘Don’t blame your partner, pets and poor internet; these are not excuses, believe it or not! Make life easy for yourself, get it done and out of the way. If you get a fine, you’ve only yourself to blame!’
Late Tax Return Penalties
The penalties for late tax returns are an initial £100 fixed penalty, and additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900, after three months.
After six months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300 is imposed, and after one year, another 5% or £300.
There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months.