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The most bizarre excuses for missing the self-assessment deadline revealed


'I couldn't file my tax return because the wife saw aliens:' and other random excuses!

Ever heard the one about the man who failed to file his tax return on time because his wife had seen aliens and refused to let him into their house?

This is one of a handful of bizarre, if not imaginative excuses revealed by HMRC for lateness as it raises awareness of the 31 January deadline for online self-assessment tax returns.

'My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can't go upstairs to retrieve it' was another explanation that did not pass muster with the taxman.

HMRC was equally unimpressed by a few claims for tax-deductible expenses - reminding people that only legitimate expenses for a job are accepted.

Attempted expense claims included vet fees for a rabbit, a three-piece suite for someone's partner to sit on while they were doing their accounts and hotel room service – for candles and prosecco.

Another cheekily tried to expense birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub, while someone attempted to claim for a £4.50 for sausage and chips meal for 250 days of the year.

Self-assessment forms are required from the self-employed and individuals with multiple streams of income.

Almost 11 million people are self-assessed in the UK. Last year, nearly 33,000 people filed within the hour before the deadline, but another 840,000 missed the cut-off point completely.

Missing the deadline incurs a £100 fine and those who fail to complete the forms within three months attract a daily penalty of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC director general of customer services, said: 'Each year we're making it easier and more intuitive for our customers to complete their tax return.

'But each year we still come across some questionable excuses, whether that's blaming a busy touring schedule or seeing aliens.

'However, help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time.'

Source: This is Money