HM Revenue & Customs

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Outlandish excuses for not filing tax returns

frog illustration

HM Revenue and Customs has released a list of the strangest expense claims and excuses it has received from people who haven't filed their tax returns.

Top odd excuses:

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

Top weird expense claims:

  1. A carpenter claiming £900 for a 55-inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs
  2. £40 on extra woolly underwear, for five years
  3. £756 for my pet dog insurance
  4. A music subscription so I can listen to music while I work
  5. A family holiday to Nigeria

Sadly, HMRC says that all of these excuses and expense claims were unsuccessful.

Iceland faces 'bill for breaching wage rules'

Iceland logo

Frozen food retailer Iceland is facing a £21m bill for breaching minimum wage rules, the Times is reporting.

The paper says that staff voluntarily had sums deducted from their wages which was paid into a savings club. This meant their pay had fallen below the minimum wage and the alleged underpayment is about £3.5m a year for six years.

Also, Iceland issued guidance for staff to wear comfortable shoes. HMRC wants Iceland to refund staff for two shoe purchases a year - a nominal £20 each - going back six years.

The paper says HMRC declined to comment, and quotes Sir Malcolm Walker, the founder and chief executive of the chain, saying the dispute was "just madness".

Iceland is meeting Kelly Tolhurst, a junior government minister in the business department, later this month.