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With just a week to go before the deadline for filing self assessment personal tax returns for 2017/18 on 31st January, HMRC has released its list of the weirdest excuses given to them for missing the cut off.

In no particular order the weirdest reasons given for not filing the tax returns in time were:

  •  My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type
  • I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn
  • I’m too short to reach the post box
  • Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses
  • My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me

HMRC have also released a list of its most dubious received expense claims:

  • A music subscription to can listen to music while working
  •  £756 for pet dog insurance
  • £40 on extra woolly underwear, for five years
  •  A family holiday to Nigeria
  • And our personal favourite – a carpenter claiming £900 for a 55 inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs

Unsurprisingly, all of these excuses and claims were refused and penalties were applied.  HMRC will always try to help people complete their tax affairs on time, and will be lenient on those with genuine reasons for missing the deadlines.

Our advice is don’t leave filing it until the last minute so that you don’t get even close to missing the deadline.  As for the expense claims, if you think its unreasonable when you look at, then chances are HMRC will take the same view.