In the run-up to the tax return deadline, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) released a list of wonderful excuses it has received from those who fail to meet the deadline for filing self-assessment tax returns – some of which have been literally out of this world.

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.”

Among the most recent excuses are:
• I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house.
• I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play.
•  My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go upstairs to retrieve it.
• My business doesn’t really do anything.
•  I spilt coffee on it.

As well as excuses for filing their tax return late, HMRC has also revealed some questionable items which taxpayers have tried to claim as an expense:
• A three-piece suite for my partner to sit on when I’m doing my accounts.
• Birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub.
• Vet fees for a rabbit.
• Hotel room service – for candles and prosecco.
• £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days.

Not surprisingly, all the above excuses and expense claims were thrown out.

“It is unfair to make honest taxpayers pick up the bill for other people’s spurious claims, so HMRC will only accept sincere claims such as legitimate expenses for a job,” added Ms MacDonald. “If you think you might miss the 31st January deadline, get in touch with
us now – the earlier we’re contacted, the more help we can offer.”

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