Excuses for missing Self Assessment deadline
A recent press release by HMRC revealed some of the oddest excuses for submitting a late tax return. The excuses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous and included:
- ‘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 reasons above were all used in appeals against penalties for submitting late returns. Not surprisingly the appeals were all unsuccessful.
HMRC’s Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:
‘Blaming the postman, arguing with family members and pesky insects – it’s easy to see that some excuses for not completing a tax return on time can be more questionable than others. Luckily, it’s only a small minority who chance their arm. But there will always be help and support available for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time. If you think you might miss the 31 January deadline, get in touch with us now – the earlier we’re contacted, the better.’
Taxpayers are reminded that the deadline for submitting 2015-16 Self Assessment tax returns online is31 January 2017. Taxpayers should also be aware that payment of any tax due should also be made by this date. This includes both the payment of any balance of Self Assessment liability for the 2015-16, plus any payment on account due for the current 2016-17 tax year.