Muras Matters: ‘Top 10 Worst Excuses’

‘Top 10 Worst Excuses’

Most readers will know that the deadline for filing a self assessment return for the year ended 5 April 2016 is Tuesday, 31 January 2017. Failure to meet this deadline will lead to an automatic penalty of £100 unless, in very exceptional circumstances, the tax payer can demonstrate a ‘reasonable excuse’.

Three weeks ago HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) published their ‘Top 10 worst excuses’ for sending in a late return; needless to say NONE of these resulted in a penalty being waived.

  1. My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.
  2. A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
  3. My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
  4. My dog ate my tax return….and all of the reminders.
  5. I couldn’t complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took my accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant.
  6. My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn’t able to send it back.
  7. I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy and lost it.
  8. My husband told me that the deadline was the 31 March.
  9. My internet connection failed.
  10. The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.

All of these people and businesses received a £100 penalty from HMRC for filing late. They appealed against the decision using these excuses, but were unsuccessful.

If you have not yet filed your return don’t leave it to chance that your reasonable excuse will be accepted by HMRC and take action now. If you need assistance in completing a return please contact our Tax Director, Jenny Marks.

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