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'"I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for five years"

The worst excuses are revealed today Credit: ITV

The 10 worst excuses for missing the 31 January Self Assessment deadline for 2013-14 have today been revealed by HM Revenue and Customs.

From broken kitchen appliances, hungry pets and arguments that last five years, some people will stop at nothing to pass the blame for their tardy timekeeping.

  1. My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them

  2. I’m not a paperwork-orientated person – I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out

  3. My accountant has been ill

  4. My dog ate my tax return

  5. I will be abroad on deadline day with no internet access so will be unable to file

  6. My laptop broke, and so did my washing machine

  7. My niece had moved in – she made the house so untidy I could not find my log-in details to complete my return online

  8. My husband ran over my laptop

  9. I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for 5 years

  10. I had a cold which took a long time to go


Accountant jailed for £6m tax evasion

A tax adviser and accountant to the media industry has been jailed for five years for evading more than £6m in tax.

Denis Christopher Carter Lunn ran the Sussex-based accountancy firm, Christopher Lunn & Co, whose 7,000-plus clients included many from the media and entertainment worlds.

The firm was investigated by HM Revenue and Customs and in 2010 the premises in Crowborough were searched and Lunn was arrested.

HMRC uncovered evidence of a range of serious offences, which included the inflating of accountancy fees and the fraudulent use of trading losses – all intended to help Lunn and his clients evade paying their fair share of tax.

City trader wins cut in sentence, but there are strong words from judge

Tom Hayes won a three-year cut in his sentence Credit: PA

A City trader from Fleet in Hampshire, who became the first man to be jailed for rigging Libor rates, has won a three-year cut in his 14-year jail sentence.

But the Court of Appeal rejected 35-year-old Tom Hayes's appeal against his conviction at Southwark Crown Court in August.

This court must make clear to all in the financial and other markets in the City of London that conduct of this type, involving fraudulent manipulation of the markets, will result in severe sentences of considerable length which, depending on the circumstances, may be significantly greater than the present total sentence.

– Lord Chief Justice Thomas

Mother with luxury house is jailed for claiming £50,000 in benefits

A mother from Kent who fraudulently claimed £50,000 in benefits while renting out her luxury home in Florida has been jailed for two years.

Patricia Boaden, who's from Ruckinge near Ashford, claimed the Housing and Council Tax benefits over a number of years - but failed to reveal she had a family inheritance worth £400,000.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that she was also running a business renting out a property close to Disney World in the United States. John Ryall reports.

He talked to Councillor Neil Shorter of Ashford Borough Council.


Migrants charge people to view mural of Apple founder

Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant Credit:

Migrants in Calais are charging people to view a mural of Apple founder Steve Jobs by elusive street artist Banksy.

The work depicts Jobs in his trademark black turtleneck jumper carrying an early model of his Apple computer and with a black bin bag slung over his shoulder.

The portrait has appeared on a graffiti-littered concrete wall on the outskirts of The Jungle camp where 6,000 migrants from countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea are based.

The piece has gained such popularity in the area, close to the Port of Calais, that migrants have covered it up with a blanket and are charging people to view it.

Steve Jobs was the son of a migrant from Syria.

The cost of dropping a cigarette end: £875

The smoker had pleaded not guilty Credit: ITV

A Kent smoker who pleaded not guilty to dropping a cigarette end has been convicted at Maidstone magistrates court and fined £200. He will have to pay a total of £875, including costs and a £20 victim surcharge, at £100 a month.

Jaswinder Khakh, 41, of Grange Road, contested a £75 fixed penalty notice after being seen discarding a cigarette end in Rathmore Road, Gravesend on 16 March.

It was alleged that Mr Khakh 'did deposit litter, namely a cigarette end, and leave it at Rathmore Road'.

He had entered a not guilty plea at his initial hearing on 13 October.

Gravesham council leader Councillor John Cubitt said: “This underlines our intention to prosecute those who disfigure the borough by carelessly throwing litter in the street. If people do not pay their fines we will pursue them in the courts.”

Woman jailed after defrauding employers out of £1 million

Caroline Dumont worked as a bookkeeper Credit: Kent Police

A woman who defrauded her employers of almost £1 million to fund a gambling addiction has been jailed for three years and four months.

Caroline Dumont, 57, formerly of Brenda Terrace, Swanscombe, worked as a bookkeeper for three separate firms based in Aylesford and Longfield.

One of the companies later went into liquidation with excessive financial costs cited as one of the main reasons, while a director of another lost the money he had intended to retire on.

Dumont admitted three counts of fraud by abuse of position, one count of false accounting and one count of concealing criminal property, and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court.

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