January 17, 2018 / 1:58 PM / 2 years ago

Alien sightings are no excuse for filing your tax return late

FILE PHOTO - A pedestrian walks past the headquarters of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in central London February 13, 2015. British lawmakers plan to call up the bosses of HSBC and the tax authority, HMRC, to quiz them over allegations some clients of HSBC's Swiss private bank evaded tax. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - As Britain’s deadline for annual tax returns looms, revenue authorities have warned they will be keeping a sharp lookout for any mention of aliens.

Seeking to encourage taxpayers to file their returns by Jan. 31, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) gave some examples on Wednesday of excuses for lateness it had received and rejected.

“I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house,” was one explanation that did not pass muster.

HMRC officials were equally unimpressed with someone who said their ex-wife had left the tax return upstairs and they couldn’t retrieve it because they suffered from vertigo.

“Each year we still come across some questionable excuses,” said Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services.

“However, help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time,” she added in a statement.

HMRC also highlighted a few dubious claims for tax-deductible expenses, reminding taxpayers that only legitimate expenses for a job would be accepted.

Expense claims rejected by officials included veterinary fees for a rabbit, birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub and 250 days’ worth of sausages and chips.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison

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