HUMOUR IN INCOME TAX MATTERS

ITS THE JOLLY TAX SEASON

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”.

COMPILED BY J S BROCA 22ND DEC 2016

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