Everyone at Drummond Laurie will be breathing a huge sigh of relief this weekend with the passing of the 2014/15 tax deadline on 31 January 2016. We come back from our festive break and get our heads down for the busiest month of the year, to ensure our clients have their tax returns filed on time.
I’m sure you are always fully up to date with your tax compliance, but HMRC are used to hearing some strange excuses from the public for filing their tax returns late. Unsurprisingly, none of these reasons led to a successful appeal……….
My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
I was up a mountain, and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal.
I fell in with the wrong crowd.
I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
A work colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and didn’t give it back.
My girlfriend’s pregnant.
I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
I was in Australia.
What is a ‘reasonable excuse’?
If you miss the deadline you can appeal to HMRC against some penalties as long as you have a “reasonable excuse” for filing or paying late.
HMRC say that this must be something unexpected or outside your control such as your partner dying shortly before the tax return or payment deadline, having an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs, or your computer failing when you were preparing your online return. They also say service issues with HMRC’s website, a serious fire or postal delays may also be acceptable reasons. They are unlikely to class bounced cheques, insufficient funds, difficulty using the online system or the lack of a reminder letter as reasonable excuses.
HMRC issues automatic fixed penalties, interest and surcharges on late returns and overdue tax balances.
For more information on our tax and other services please get in touch in the first instance via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.