The top 10 most unusual excuses for failing to file a tax return, this Friday 13th

The top 10 most unusual excuses for failing to file a tax return, this Friday 13th

It has been reported that 8,000 taxpayers took a break from the festive period to file their tax return on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day last year, but there is still a high percentage of investors who haven’t yet completed their self-assessment tax return – as the 31st January deadline looms.

Those who fail to register in time face a fine of £100 for filing even one day late, which rises to £1,000 if you leave it six months. So those who still haven’t filed their tax return need to move fast and pay any tax owed to avoid penalties.

It’s also important to remember that that your Landlord Property Insurance and Rent Guarantee Insurances are allowable deductions against your rental income. If in doubt, please seek professional advice ASAP.

So as it’s Friday 13th, we thought we’d look at the top 10 most unusual excuses HMRC have received for filing a late tax return:

  1. My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.
  2. A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
  3. My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
  4. My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders.
  5. I couldn’t complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant.
  6. My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn’t able to send it back.
  7. I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
  8. My husband told me the deadline was the 31st March.
  9. My internet connection failed.
  10. The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.

Further information for buy to let investors on filing their tax return;

In addition, HMRC requires payments on account towards the 2016/17 tax year, then this first payment is also due by 31st January 2017.
Landlords letting fully furnished properties must also be warned that the tax return due by the end of this month is the last that you can claim for the automatic Wear and Tear Allowance. Remember, last April HMRC abolished the 10% allowance, therefore affecting tax return periods form the 2016/17 year onwards.
However, you will still be able to claim for the replacement of moveable furnishings from the 2016/17 tax return deadline period onwards, unless you rent out furnished holiday lets, which have a different tax system. It is important to note that it is only the replacement cost that is claimable, not the original cost. For example, if you replaced a washing machine, this may be claimable, but if you purchased a new tumble dryer that has never been in the property before, this will not be claimable. However, if the tumble dryer was replaced in a few years’ time, it would be claimable.
The replacement must be like-for-like or the nearest modern equivalent, with HMRC also allowing you to claim costs incurred when you dispose of the previous furnishing. However, you must also account for any proceeds received for the replacement of furniture.
Recent news has focused on the forthcoming reduction in tax relief on finance costs for landlords. While this four-year phased introduction begins in April this year, it is worth pointing out that this is the 2017/18 tax year, and so the change will only be applicable for the tax return due by 31st January 2019 onwards.

Find further information here: Self Assessment forms and helpsheets via

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