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Revenue reveals ‘top 10 oddest excuses’ for late tax returns

With the January tax return deadline just around the corner (end of Jan), HM Revenue and Customs has revealed the ‘Top 10 oddest excuses’ for sending in a late return. The following bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses have all been used by tardy taxpayers:

  • My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder)
  • I had a run-in with a cow
  • After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else
  • My wife won’t give me my mail
  • My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him
  • I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play
  • My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is
  • I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land
  • Our business doesn’t really do anything
  • I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns

Tax man 'disappointed' after union's call to strike

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs have said they're disappointed that the PCS union has called for it's members to strike on Monday. It's in protest for the loss of 400 HMRC jobs at its Portsmouth office. Picket lines are expected to be manned outside WIngfield House. In a statement, HMRC said:

“HMRC is disappointed with the decision to strike and will do everything it can to maintain services to the public. We are seeking dialogue with the PCS to address their concerns, and will work to minimise any disruption to our customers."


Strike action called

The Public and Commercial Services Union is calling for a day of strike action against the potential loss of 400 jobs at HMRC in Portsmouth.

The union claims that government cuts will lead to the closure of HMRC's office - Wingfield House.

It's understood that staff will man picket lines against the cuts on Monday.

We do not want to take this action but we have come to an impasse with both HMRC management and the Government. The austerity measures outlined in the 2010 spending review mean less staff to do the same amount of work. If the staff reductions have to be achieved through redundancy PCS believe there will be no actual savings in closing Wingfield House

– PCS Union spokesman

Yacht broker jailed for not paying VAT

James Williams with HMRC inspectors Credit: HMRC

A dorset yacht broker who charged £210,000 VAT on the sale of 6 luxury boats but failed to pay HMRC has been jailed for 3 years.

James Williams, 51, was found guilty on false accounting and cheating the public revenue.

Officers say he used the money to fund a luxury lifestyle and to renovate a luxury 44 foot yacht called 'Siri'.

The boat has since been sold has the tax inspectors try to reclaim the missing VAT.

Siri Credit: HMRC