As you are probably aware, today is the personal tax return deadline. Have you ever thought about what excuses people use to try and get an extension, well if you have then you are in luck because we are going to share the top 5 best excuses from last year.

So, what are the best excuses from the last year? According to HMRC, here are the top 5:

  1. My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me
  2. I’m too short to reach the post box
  3. I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was slow to learn
  4. Our junior member of staff registered our client for Self-Assessment by mistake because they weren’t wearing their glasses
  5. My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type 

As you can imagine, none of the excuses were accepted by HMRC. 

They’ve also released the 5 worst expenses claims:

  1. A carpenter claimed £900 for a 55-inch TV and soundbar to help him price his jobs
  2. £40 on woolly underwear
  3. £756 for pet dog insurance
  4. A music subscription, so I can listen while I work
  5. A family holiday to Nigeria

So, what excuses do work?

HMRC will accept a “reasonable excuse”. There isn’t a legal definition, but this must be an “an unexpected or unusual event, either unforeseeable or beyond the customer’s control, which prevents him from complying with an obligation when he would otherwise have done”.

Examples include:

  • Bereavement – the death of a close relative near to the deadline
  • Serious illness, eg coma, heart attack or stroke
  • Being on active service overseas with the Armed Forces

What’s the fine if I’m late?

There’s an immediate £100 fine if you miss the deadline at midnight on 31 January.

From 1 May, you’ll get charged an extra £10 per day for the next 90 days, ie up to £900 extra.

If you pass 31 July, there’s an additional fine – this time it’s the larger of £300 or 5% of the tax owed. And it’s the same again if you’re a year late – another £300 or 5% of the tax.

And then there’s interest added as well!

As an example, if you’re over 6 months late, you’ll be fined a minimum of £1,300! So it’s well worth getting it in on time.

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Any questions?
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