HMRC has published a list of the strangest excuses for taxpayers not submitting their self-assessment tax returns on time. Remember, the deadline for filing is midnight on 31st January 2019.
Last year approximately 2.1 million people left their self-assessment tax return filing until January 2018 for the 2016/17 tax year. HMRC says that over 11.5 million taxpayers in total need to complete and file their 2017/18 returns before 31st January – and only 52% of these have been completed.
If you are late filing your self-assessment tax return, you will incur an instant £100 late filing penalty – and further charges for the late payment of your tax bill.
Some taxpayers who were late filing their tax returns last year came up with strange excuses which HMRC have published as a warning against filing late.
‘My tax return was late because I was cursed’
One of the more creative excuses was a taxpayer who claimed they couldn’t file their self-assessment on time because their mother in law placed a curse on them.
‘I’m too cold to type’
Another claimed their fingers were too cold to type the required information into HMRC’s online self-assessment filing system due to a broken boiler. This excuse definitely won’t get you out of the £100 late penalty – especially when there are personal tax accountants available to help you complete and file your return.
‘A staff member registered a client by mistake’
One accountancy firm claimed that their client was mistakenly registered to file a self-assessment tax return by a junior member of staff who was not wearing their glasses. While this isn’t the client’s fault – it probably caused a bit of trouble for them and the accountant who may have tried to appeal the late penalty.
It’s always advisable to choose an experienced accountant, such as one who has completed over 10,000 self-assessment tax returns – so you know your personal income information is being handled correctly and with care.
‘I’m too short to post my tax return’
Last but not least, a taxpayer claimed they could not file their self-assessment because they were “too short” to reach the post box. For the 2017/18 tax year, self-assessments filed by post are already overdue; however you can still file online until 31st January. Contact us for help with your online self-assessment.
File your self-assessment tax return before 31st January
There are some special circumstances where you may have a reasonable excuse for filing your self-assessment after the deadline, which can be found on the government’s website alongside a list of additional excuses that are not acceptable.
You can complete and file your self-assessment online ahead of the deadline, however if you wish to avoid the frustration of the online system you can appoint an accountant to complete this for you. Many company directors, self-employed people and landlords alike have had trouble recently using HMRC’s confusing system and have been forced to seek support via Twitter.
With the support of a specialist accountant all you need to do is provide the required income information and approve your tax return – they will do the rest.
Read our guide on completing and filing a self-assessment tax return – it will help you understand the process and meet the 31st January deadline. Contact Churchill Knight if you require assistance with your 2017/18 self-assessment.