HMRC has revealed the top ten excuses for late tax returns in the hope that self-employed workers will file their returns on time. The deadline for filing online self-assessment tax returns and making payments for 2012-2013 is 31st January.
Self-employed workers and small business owners receive an automatic £100 penalty for failing to file their tax returns on time, with the fines increasing over time.
HMRC has published a list of the top ten bad excuses from people failing to submit their tax returns:
1. My pet goldfish died
2. I had a run-in with a cow
3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else
4. My wife won’t give me my mail
5. My husband told me the deadline was 31st March, and I believed him
6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play
7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is
8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land
9. Our business doesn’t really do anything
10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (an accountant)
Despite HMRC expecting some late payments, many self-employed workers and small business owners have already completed their tax returns. In fact, a record number of people found time to file their tax returns on Christmas Day. On 25th December, 1,566 people completed their tax returns online, with a total of 23,059 submissions in the three-day period between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.