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The dog ate my returns, and other familiar stories

Hindustan Times

22 Dec 2016

LONDON: The Christmas and holiday season is here, but it is also the time for tax authorities to warn the errant not to miss the January 31 deadline to file their returns – and no, excuses that dogs or rats ate their returns will not save them from penalties.

The taxman has gone so far as to compile a list of quirky excuses Britons give for missing the deadline – 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.

Some popular excuses submitted to tax officials:

“My tax return was on my yacht…which caught fire”

“A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed”

“My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days”

“My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders”

“I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for five years.

“I couldn’t complete my returns because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am trying to find a new accountant”

“A colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it”

“My husband told me the deadline was March 31”

“The postman doesn’t deliver to my house”

“My tax papers were left in the shed and rats ate them.

“I’m not a paperwork orientated person – I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out. “My laptop broke. So did my washing machine.

“My niece had moved in – she made the house so untidy I could not find my log in details to complete my return online. Ruth Owen of HM Revenue and Customs said: “It’s easy to see that some excuses can be more questionable than others. Untidy family members and hungry pets are very unlikely to be accepted as a legitimate excuse…We’re here to help people in genuine distress, but not to act as a free lender to people who can’t meet their responsibilities to pay their tax”.


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Dear Sir,

This refers to your Special Issue (BT dated Jan 1, 2017) on INDIA’S BEST CEOs. Heartiest Congratulations to all the deserving winners!

The BT-PWC study is indeed a pains- taking labour of love and dedication. It has thrown up a few new best Corporate Chieftains, who have managed to take their enterprises to glorious heights in spite of global glitches like the Chinese dragon fires ebbing out and the country’s uncertain business environment plus other factors like technology disruptions, drive towards digital space etc.

These CEOs have once again proved their mettle during tough times and have risen like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of past gloom. Stiff competition in almost all sectors, push-pull factors of e-commerce on one side and brick and mortar stores on the other side, coping with the recent demons of demonetization, have all been taken in their stride. The threats of disruptions have all been innovatively converted into opportunities for potential growth.

Your esteemed jury must have certainly have had a tough time in picking up the final winners in various categories. Kudos to the jury as well as the BT PWC team!

BTW, the brief listing with the portraits of the Top 100 CEOs and the Top 40 CEOs in BFSI sector on pages 117 to 123 in alphabetical order, was a good cut-and-keep section for class-room discussions with the students of B- Schools, for academicians like me.

Last but not the least, your New Year Gift of increased cover price of the issue from Rs.60 to Rs.70, was a well bowled swinger for your readers but we will have to take it in our stride  like those CEOs!!

J S Broca, New Delhi

21st December 2016

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Demonetization in a lighter vein…..

2 Demonetized Versions of Ghalibs Shayri….

Badalwa Dey Merey Note Ai Ghalib,

Ya Woh Jagah Bata Dey,

Jahan Kataar Naan Ho !!

Ummar-E-Daraaz Maang Karr

Laaey Thhey  Chaar Din,

Do Kammanein Mein Lagg Gaey

Aur Do Badalwaanein Mein!!


14TH DEC 2016

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