- 23rd January 2020
- Posted by: Suzy Hill
- Category: Personal Tax, Business News, HMRC News
Witchcraft and hamsters amongst worst self assessment excuses
Vengeful witches and pet hamsters feature in HMRC’s list of imaginative excuses and expense claims, which has been published in the run up to the self assessment deadline.
The tax authority has compiled a list of the weirdest unsuccessful excuses from the last decade.
The list includes one filer who claimed their mother-in law was a witch who had cursed them, hamsters and dogs that had eaten the post and a customer who was up a mountain without internet access.
Cheeky expense claims include a pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’ and 250 days of claims for a £4.50 for sausage and chips meal.
Commenting on the list, Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said: ‘Each year, we try to make it as easy and simple as possible for our customers to complete their tax returns and the majority make the effort to do theirs’ right and on time.
‘We always offer help to those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time. It is unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims.’
Taxpayers must file their tax return by midnight on 31 January 2020. The only exception to this is if you received a notice from HMRC to make an online tax return after 31 October 2019. In this case, you have three months from the date of issue to submit your return.
The penalties for late tax returns are:
- an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time;
- after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900;
- after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
- after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.
There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months. Interest will be charged on all late payments.
We can help with all aspects of self assessment, including filing returns on your behalf. Please contact us.