Excuses for missing the 31 January personal tax return deadline!

When filing a return online, you should do everything possible to meet the deadline. If you file a return late and you don’t have a ‘reasonable excuse’ you may have to pay a penalty. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has... Read more

Blog9th Jan 2014

By Sarah Munro

When filing a return online, you should do everything possible to meet the deadline. If you file a return late and you don’t have a ‘reasonable excuse’ you may have to pay a penalty.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has revealed the top ten strangest excuses for failing to meet this deadline, not one of which will count as a reasonable excuse:

1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder)

2. I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer)

3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman)

4. My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader)

5. My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser)

6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer)

7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver)

8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man)

9. Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm)

10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).

There will always be unforeseen events and legitimate reasons that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them.

There is a guide on the HMRC website which overviews what may generally be considered a reasonable excuse. It sets out what you should do if you want to appeal against a late filing penalty. It also contains specific guidance for Self-Assessment, VAT and Corporation Tax, with links to forms you can use to make your reasonable excuse claim. You can view this guide by clicking here.

 

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