Excuses for late tax returns

06 January 2015

HMRC have published a list of ten “terrible” excuses for late tax returns. These are not about returns or submissions due from employers, but they may nevertheless serve as a salutary reminder for payroll professionals too that only reasonable appeals against penalties are likely to be successful.

The excuses were all used in unsuccessful appeals against HMRC penalties for late filing and payment.

Here’s the full list:

· My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.

· I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.

· I fell in with the wrong crowd.

· I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.

· Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.

· I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.

· A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.

· I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.

· My girlfriend’s pregnant.

· I was in Australia.