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Brits miss tax return deadline due to dogs eating paperwork

The government has revealed the worst reasons for missing the 2013/2014 tax return deadline – President Obama should be ashamed of himself.
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On 5 January we looked at new year’s resolutions that companies can consider for 2015 as millions of people returned to work now the Christmas period is over, with some goals on the list to enhance websites and hire new staff.

Seemingly meeting deadlines should be on the list of targets for the year ahead, because HM Revenue and Customs has revealed the ten most ridiculous excuses for missing the tax return deadline. The paper-filing date was on 31 October, so all outstanding forms must now be completed online by the end of January.

The reasons all fell under unsuccessful appeals, which were made in a bid to avoid penalties for late filing and payment.

The top ten is as follows:

1. My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.

2. I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.

3. I fell in with the wrong crowd.

4. I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.

5. Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.

6. I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.

7. A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.

8. I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.

9. My girlfriend’s pregnant.

10. I was in Australia.

Ruth Owen, director general of personal tax, HMRC, 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.”

The revelations come after Real Business reported that HMRC customers were less than impressed with the department’s communication skills, taking to Twitter to voice their outrage.

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Image via Shutterstock.

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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