Self assessment: if you’re self-employed, then this may be front and foremost in your mind just now. While everyone else is thinking about Christmas shopping, planning festive gatherings and enjoying (or not!) the obligatory wearing of Christmas jumpers, you’re thinking about the filing of your dreaded self assessment tax return.

You don’t want to be one of the people who are late filing their self assessments – but, should the festive fun win out, you might have your excuses ready for HMRC.

5 genuine late excuses given to HMRC

We’ve all heard excuses for being late – but here’s five brilliantly bonkers excuses that people tried to use in order to explain their tardiness to HMRC. And, yes, these are all genuine!

  1. My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me
  2. I’m too short to reach the post box
  3. I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn
  4. Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses
  5. My boiler was broken, and my fingers were too cold to type

Here’s a top tip from us – don’t try these out on HMRC!

5 expenses claims you should think twice about

As accountants, we let our clients know which expenses are permissible to claim. Even more importantly, we can advise which expenses not to claim.

HMRC has thoughtfully shared a list of expenses submitted to them that it may be best not to try and claim:

  1. Claiming £900 for a 55-inch TV and sound bar to help price jobs – as a carpenter
  2. £40 on extra woolly underwear, for five years
  3. £756 for pet dog insurance
  4. A music subscription, for listening to music while working
  5. A family holiday to Nigeria

You won’t be surprised to hear that all these excuses and expenses were unsuccessful, and rejected by HMRC.

Don’t leave your self assessment tax return to the last minute!

Last year almost 750,000 people missed the tax return deadline – don’t be one of them! Late submission means an initial automatic £100 penalty, and this increases over time.

If you’ve already submitted your self assessment then you can sit back and enjoy all that the festive season has to offer. However, if you haven’t… the 31st January deadline is getting ever nearer! It’s best to get your return completed as early as possible. By leaving it to the last minute, you will be putting yourself under undue time pressure and stress – which can lead to costly mistakes being made.

Running a business takes a lot of effort and finding the time to complete a self assessment accurately can be tricky.  At Crunchers Edinburgh we can help you do this in a timely manner, ensuring that you claim everything that you are entitled to. Letting us take the strain means that you have extra time and energy to put into improving your business – or perhaps just more time to enjoy the magic of Christmas with your family and friends at this festive time of year.

Just don’t leave it too late – get in touch with us now!



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