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HMRC Reveals 'Oddest' Non-Compliance Excuses

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

06 January 2014


The UK's tax authority has released a list of bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses used unsuccessfully by taxpayers to excuse late tax returns:

  • My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder);
  • I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer);
  • After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn't concentrate on anything else (London woman);
  • My wife won't give me my mail (self-employed trader);
  • My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser);
  • I've been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer);
  • My bad back means I can't go upstairs. That's where my tax return is (a working taxi driver);
  • I've been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I'm on dry land (South East man);
  • Our business doesn't really do anything (Kent financial services firm); and
  • I've been too busy submitting my clients' tax returns (London accountant).

All of these people and businesses received a GBP100 penalty from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for filing late. They appealed against the decision using these excuses, but were denied.

HMRC's Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said: "There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn't one of them."

Perhaps the IRS will be more understanding?

TAGS: tax | business | Personal Tax | financial services | tax authority | trade | services | Tax

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