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Crazy excuses for not sending tax return revealed

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If you are going to make an excuse, it needs to be plausible.

Unfortunately, that does not appear to have occurred to some when they explained to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) why their tax return was late.

With the 31 January deadline approaching for anyone sending in a self assessment form for 2017-18, HMRC has revealed some of the more imaginative reasons why the cut-off date was missed last year.

One person said their mother-in-law was a witch who “put a curse on me”.

Other excuses in the top five include: “I’m too short to reach the post box.”

Someone else said their “first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn”.

Another explained that a “junior member of staff registered our client in self assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses”.

And a further one added: “My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type.”

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The self assessment return for 2017-18 is due in by the end of the month

HMRC has also released some of the more outlandish claims for expenses.

These include a carpenter who claimed £900 for a 55 inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs.

Someone else demanded £40 for woolly underwear, while another wanted £756 for dog insurance.

There was also an expenses claim for a music subscription so “I can listen to music while I work”, and for a family holiday to Nigeria.

Unsurprisingly, none of those claims was unsuccessful.

If the deadline is missed, there is an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, and the penalties increase over time.

“Help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time but it’s unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims,” said HMRC’s director general of customer services, Angela MacDonald.

“If you think you might miss the 31 January deadline, get in touch with us now – the earlier we’re contacted, the more we can help.”

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