Aliens, coffee and vertigo: Here are the strangest excuses for late tax returns

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed the strangest excuses taxpayers have used for filing late tax returns.

The list, which was released by HMRC in advance of the deadline for filing tax returns online at the end of January,  includes “questionable” excuses including blaming vertigo, seeing aliens and touring the country with a one-man play.

The deadline for sending 2016-17 Self Assessment tax returns to HMRC, and paying any tax owed, is January 31.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, 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.

“However, help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time.

“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.”

Here is the list of failed excuses for late returns released by HMRC:

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

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

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

4. My business doesn’t really do anything

5. I spilt coffee on it

Here is the list of failed expenses claims for late returns released by HMRC:

1. A three-piece suite for my partner to sit on when I’m doing my accounts

2. Birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub

3. Vet fees for a rabbit

4. Hotel room service – for candles and prosecco

5. £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days

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