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Vengeful witches and pet hamsters feature in HMRC’s list of weirdest unsuccessful excuses and expenses claims from the last decade.

The list includes one taxpayer who claimed their mother-in-law was a witch who had cursed them, hamsters and dogs that had eaten the post and a taxpayer who was up a mountain without internet access.

The top 10 most bizarre excuses and questionable expenses claims for items, in reverse order, are:

  • Caravan rental for the Easter weekend
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal
  • My dog ate the post…again
  • Claiming £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days
  • My hamster ate my post
  • I’ve been cruising around the world in my yacht and only picking up post when I’m on dry land
  • Music subscription so I can listen to music while I work
  • Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’
  • DJ was too busy with a party lifestyle – spinning the deck….in a bowls club
  • My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me

Commenting on the list, Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said:

“Each year, we try to make it as easy and simple as possible for our customers to complete their tax returns and the majority make the effort to do their’s right and on time. We always offer help to those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time. It is unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims.”

Get help with completing your tax return

If you completed your tax return before the 31 January 2020 deadline then you have nothing to worry about. If you have left it too late and missed the deadline it’s important that you get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can file it now. HMRC take missing the deadline very seriously and will fine you for every day you are late completing your Self Assessment tax return.

Contact our Tax expert Ann Bibby on abibby@ellacotts.co.uk or 01295 250401 for more information on tax returns.