Method Accounting
Method Accounting

HMRC’s top 10 Self-Assessment penalty excuses

28 January 2016

HMRC have published a weird and wonderful selection of excuses that have been used in unsuccessful appeals against penalties for late Self-Assessment tax returns. There are certainly some very creative minds out there that may well be going to waste. Excuses included audacious stories such as “My husband ran over my laptop” as well as plenty of downright implausible creations such as “I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for five years”. The taxman is no fool however and saw straight through these poor fabrications.

Perhaps if the same effort and energy was placed into meeting the Self-Assessment deadlines as to creating these elaborate excuses, penalties could have been avoided. However we would have been denied this comical list, so let’s all be thankful for their creativity.

The top 10 Self-Assessment penalty excuses:

  1. My tax papers were left in the shed and a rat ate them
  2. I’m not a paperwork-orientated person – I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out
  3. My accountant has been ill
  4. My dog ate my tax return
  5. I will be abroad on deadline day with no internet access so will be unable to file
  6. My laptop broke, so did my washing machine
  7. My niece had moved in – she made the house so untidy I could not find my log-in details to complete my return online
  8. My husband ran over my laptop
  9. I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for five years
  10. I had a cold which took a long time to go

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