Blurting out "aliens" might be what a school child would resort to when quizzed on the whereabouts of their homework.
It turns out that some grown adults try to do the same thing, even if they have the time to make up a better excuse.
Each year, HMRC release the most questionable excuses they received from people who have failed to file their tax returns.
HMRC said the wildest excuses last year included:
I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’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.
There are also some pretty weird items that taxpayers have tried to expense:
A three-piece suite for my partner to sit on when I’m doing my accounts.
Birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub.
Vet fees for a rabbit.
Hotel room service – for candles and prosecco.
£4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days.
Kudos to the person who managed to spend £1125 in one year on sausage and chips.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said in a statement:
Each year we’re making it easier and more intuitive for our customers to complete their tax return, but each year we still come across some questionable excuses, whether that’s blaming a busy touring schedule or seeing aliens. However, help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time.
We also receive absurd expense claims from vet fees for a rabbit to room service at a hotel. It is unfair to make honest taxpayers pick up the bill for other people’s spurious claims, so HMRC will only accept sincere claims such as legitimate expenses for a job.
If you think you might miss the 31 January deadline, get in touch with us now - the earlier we’re contacted, the more help we can offer.