Today in New Delhi, India
Oct 24, 2018-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

When wife, aliens delay income tax returns in UK

Every year, the taxman compiles a list of quirky excuses Britons give to miss the deadline to file returns.

world Updated: Jan 19, 2018 22:18 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Britain,income tax returns,HM Revenue and Customs
Some people will stop at nothing to pass the blame for their tardy timekeeping.(Illustration: Sudhir Shetty)

The Christmas and holiday season is almost over and it is time for British tax authorities to warn the errant not to miss the January 31 deadline to file their returns, and no excuses will save them from penalties.

Every year, the taxman compiles a list of quirky excuses Britons give to miss the deadline – from broken kitchen appliances, hungry pets and arguments that last five years. Some people will stop at nothing to pass the blame for their tardy timekeeping.

The excuses released on Wednesday include:

“I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house.”

“I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play.”

“My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go upstairs to retrieve it.”

“My business doesn’t really do anything.”

“I spilt coffee on it.”

Some of the more imaginative and intriguing excuses have been:

“My tax return was on my yacht…which caught fire.”

“A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.”

“My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders.”

“My husband told me the deadline was the March 31.”

“My internet connection failed.”

“The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.”

“My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them.”

“I’m not a paperwork orientated person – I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out.”

“I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for five years.”

Angela MacDonald of HM Revenue and Customs said: “Each year we’re making it easier and more intuitive for our customers to complete their tax return, but each year we still come across some questionable excuses, whether that’s blaming a busy touring schedule or seeing aliens.

“We also receive absurd expense claims from vet fees for a rabbit to room service at a hotel. It is unfair to make honest taxpayers pick up the bill for other people’s spurious claims, so HMRC will only accept sincere claims such as legitimate expenses for a job.”

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 22:18 IST