As most self employed persons, certain pensioners and high income earners will be aware their self-assessment tax returns for 2013-14 have to be filed by the end of January 2015 in order to avoid late filing penalties                                   

There are also other costs (possible interest and further penalties) if you fail to pay your tax on time. Any balance of self-assessment tax for 2013-14, and if applicable, the first payment on account for 2014-15, may also be due on the same date (31 January 2015).                                 

If you are struggling to meet this deadline we may be able to help…

 If you are late in filing or paying your taxes you may have a possible means of avoiding penalties if you can demonstrate that you had a reasonable excuse. Readers may be interested to know that the following excuses would not be accepted by HMRC. This list of the top ten excuses (that failed) was published on 5 January 2015.

  • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, 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.
  • I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
  • A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
  • I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
  • My girlfriend’s pregnant.
  • I was in Australia.

HMRC Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said:

“People can have a genuine excuse for missing a tax deadline, but owning a pet with a taste for HMRC envelopes isn’t one of them.”

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