Each year HMRC receives a number of unusual excuses from Self Assessment customers who didn’t complete their tax return on time. Below are the top ten excuses received for the 2014/15 tax year.
- “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”
HMRC will accept reasonable excuses although may require evidence to support the excuse.
Failing to submit and pay the tax owed will result in penalties. The penalties for late tax returns are: an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time after three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900 after six months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.
Note there are also additional penalties for paying tax late which is broadly, 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months.
Those who are submitting their 2015/16 Self Assessment return online for the first time will need to register for Self Assessment Online. Registering for online filing is simple, please see here.
Alternatively, customers can now also submit their return via their Personal Tax Account – it only takes five minutes to sign up for an account.