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“Interesting” Excuses for Late Tax Returns

It’s that time of the year again for contractors…doing your tax returns online, so make sure you get everything done by the 31st of January.

If you don’t want to do everything yourself or you are struggling to get things done, then do yourself a favour and hire a contractor accountant. Worth every penny if you ask me.

So what happens if you don’t get your tax return in on time? Well, HMRC give you a fine, and then if you still don’t get it done then you get even more fines.

Now, if you miss the deadline and are fined then you have the opportunity to appeal their decision, and as we’ve recently found out some of the excuses are quite…interesting.

It’s worth noting that all of the excuses you are about to read were unsuccessful, which means the fines stood and the people had to pay them and get in their tax returns as well.

However, if you do have a genuine excuse that is “reasonable” then HMRC will listen to you, even though there is no guarantee you will be successful. My advice is to just get your tax return in by the 31st and save yourself a lot of hassle.

Some of the excuses:

One self-employed person claimed that his yacht caught fire, which meant he could no longer send in his tax return. As you can imagine, HMRC were not impressed.

Another person gave the excuse that their dog ate the tax return, leaving them unable to do anything about it. Something tells me they probably used this one at school as well.

How about the woman who claimed she couldn’t complete her tax return because her husband left…with her accountant. She went on to add that she is currently trying to find a new accountant.

Some other excuses include:

My child scribbled over the tax return which means I couldn’t send it in because you wouldn’t be able to read it.

A friend borrowed my tax return and never returned it.

My husband told me it had to be in by the 31st March.

I don’t have the internet.

The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.

All possibly genuine excuses that could get you out of having to pay the fine, but it seems HMRC were having none of it.

My advice? Do everything you can to get that tax return in, and do it as soon as possible. Too many people wait right until the last minute, and then are rushing around trying to get everything done.

Don’t be one of these people. Instead, get it sorted today, then you can sit back and relax, and won’t need to come up with any excuses no matter how good they are.

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