Self-assessment: strange excuses and expenses

Self-assessment: strange excuses and expenses

Many people do not enjoy doing their tax returns; in fact, for the self-employed, assessing themselves and untangling their business activities can be one of the biggest headaches of the year. Sometimes self-assessors become quite imaginative as they seek to justify the claims they are making to HRMC.

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Too short

HRMC receives responses every year from those who claim that some kind of calamity has prevented them from completing their tax return. One reason given for not filing was that the person in question was not tall enough to reach the post box, which seems a bit feeble given that you can complete your tax return online.

The Guardian has tips on meeting the tax return deadline in the future, no matter how vertically challenged you may be. Other excuses for not doing a self-assessment have included an inability to type due to lack of heating, being cursed by a relative, and having domestic workers who were too distracting or inefficient.

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Questionable claims

Self-assessors often claim for expenses such as stationery or phone bills; however, some claims are a bit puzzling. These include five years’ worth of extra-warm underwear, a holiday for the family to Nigeria, and hundreds of pounds for insurance for a pet dog. One carpenter claimed close to a £1,000 for a sound and TV bar, which he said was necessary for pricing his quotes. Another claimant said they needed music to get their work done and claimed for the cost of a music subscription.

Tax creativity can be fun to read about, but sometimes a professional can make the process easier. If you think you may need accountants Cheltenham, you will find a wide selection of local services to check out; for example, if you need an accountant in Cheltenham visit Randall and Payne and other firms to see what they have to offer. Reputable accountants Cheltenham will be able to provide a great deal of guidance and advice.

Taxes are unavoidable, but they do not need to be an enormous headache. Get the support you need to submit your self-assessment on time and you will find that the stress of completing the tax return will disappear, leaving you with so much more energy and time to devote to finding new customers and applying yourself to the things you are really good at.

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