Published On: Tue, Jan 6th, 2015 on 12:28 pm

‘Obama is in charge of my finances’ among worst tax return excuses

Barack Obama

As the 31 January tax return deadline looms closer, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed the worst excuses ever made for late filing and payments.

The majority of the excuses, used in appeals against penalties, claimed it was someone else’s fault including pets, work colleagues and even the President of the United States.

Excuses included pet dogs eating tax returns, people claiming to have fallen into the wrong crowd, and one person even claimed they were too busy looking after escaped parrots and some fox cubs.

One person claimed Barack Obama was in charge of his or her finances, one said they were in Australia and another said they lived in a camper van in a supermarket car park.

HMRC also received an excuse from a person who said they were up a mountain in Wales and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.

All the appeals were unsurprisingly unsuccessful.

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.

“You need to file your 2013/14 tax return online, and pay what you owe, by 31 January. But it’s best to do it now, to allow plenty of time to sort out any issues with your return. That way, you’ll avoid the busy period for our phone lines as the deadline approaches.”

All outstanding 2013/14 tax returns must now be submitted online, as the paper-filing deadline has passed.

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