Each year in the lead up to the self-assessment tax return deadline HMRC publish a list of the top 10 worst late submission excuses for the previous 12 months.
You might be surprised to hear that all of the following were unsuccessful in their appeals against late filing penalties:
"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 wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days"
"My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders"
"I couldn't complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant"
"My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn't able to send it back"
"I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it"
"My husband told me the deadline was the 31 March"
"My internet connection failed"
"The postman doesn't deliver to my house"
If you have been sent a notice to complete a tax return and miss the 31 January 2017 filing deadline, HMRC will automatically issue a penalty of £100, regardless of whether you owe any tax liability (you could even be due a refund). Further penalties will then be issued after 3, 6 and 12 months if the return remains outstanding.
Late submission penalties can be appealed against but only if you have a genuine 'reasonable excuse'.
HMRC also have the ability to charge separate late payment penalties and interest on any liability not paid by the due date.
If you have a self-assessment tax return to complete and would like any assistance then please get in contact with your local Perrys branch.
Article written by Craig Harman
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