Excuses, excuses!

You may have read the recent news stories about the excuses people give for failing to file their tax returns on time. HMRC revealed a number of excuses including:


  • I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and wouldn’t let me enter the house
  • I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play
  • My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go upstairs to retrieve it
  • My business doesn’t really do anything
  • I spilt coffee on it

As you can imagine, none of these excuses were deemed acceptable by HMRC and those filing Self Assessment forms after the 31st January deadline were liable to a fine.


man looking stressed in front of laptop - excuses people give for not filing tax return

But are there any circumstances under which HMRC will accept a late return? In fact, tax officials will listen if you have a genuine excuse, but you will have to appeal online or by post, using form SA370. The list of ‘reasonable excuses’ given by HMRC include: 

  • You had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your tax affairs
  • You have had a serious or life-threatening illness
  • Your computer or software failed just before, or while you were preparing, your online return
  • Service issues with HMRC online services
  • Postal delays that you couldn’t have predicted
  • Fire, flood or theft prevented you from completing your tax return
  • Your partner or another close relative died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline

Here at AMR, it’s our job to help you keep your books in order, so that any forms such as VAT or CIS returns are submitted in good time and free from any last-minute panics. We’re experienced in all types of accounting software and we’re happy to maintain your accounting records on-site. So, if you find yourself dreading every deadline, it might be time to outsource bookkeeping tasks and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with working alongside our professional team.  As well as bookkeeping, we offer payroll, pension auto-enrolment and credit control services. Our personalised approach means we build a tailored plan for every client, ensuring a streamlined service to suit your business.  Why not get in touch today for a free consultation with no obligation whatsoever? Call us on 01892 559480 to chat to a member of our friendly team. We can’t think of a single excuse why you wouldn’t!

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