HMRC reports unbelievable excuses and dubious expenses

Jan 25, 2019

Most customers complete their tax returns honestly and on time but every year HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receives some outlandish excuses and expense claims. Here are some of the strangest from the past year:

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

As well as unbelievable excuses, they also received some dubious expenses claims for unconvincing items like woolly underwear and pet insurance for a dog. Some of the most questionable include:

  • a carpenter claiming £900 for a 55-inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs;
  • £40 on extra woolly underwear, for five years;
  • £756 for my pet dog insurance;
  • a music subscription, so I can listen to music while I work; and
  • a family holiday to Nigeria.

All these excuses and expenses were unsuccessful.

Source: HMRC