As the deadline for submitting returns and paying tax for 2017/2018 has just gone flying by, HMRC reveals some of the strangest excuses it has received for not paying on time, and we’ve added our own!

HMRC have received some weird and wonderful excuses from customers who missed the Self Assessment deadline including ‘being too short to reach the post box’ and having ‘fingers too cold to type’

Here are the top 5 from HMRC this year:

  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 very slow to learn
  4. Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses
  5. My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type

Here at the Peloton we too have come across a few gems over the years, including;

  1. I was on Holiday?!
  2. I didn’t realise it was January…
  3. I was out buying a new car
  4. My cat was sick
  5. I was moving house

Needless to say, all of the above excuses were not accepted by HMRC and each were hit with £100 fine.

Stay safe! The penalties for late tax returns are:

  • an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time
  • after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900
  • after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater
  • after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.

As well as ridiculously unbelievable excuses for people not filing their return on time, HMRC also receives some particularly unconvincing expenses claims like for instance; ‘woolly underwear’ and ‘pet insurance for a dog’.

Some of the most questionable received by HMRC include:

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

And in case you were wondering, all these excuses and expenses were deemed unsuccessful. Bummer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What expenses can I claim if I’m self-employed? 

How do I pay my tax bill?

What if I can’t pay my tax bill?

If you need any help with your self-assessment tax, then please do get in touch.