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Thursday, 17 October

Deadline Day - Peace Or Penalty?

Have you already found inner peace by submitting your Tax Return early or will you be one of the 2 million doing it on January 31

Tax Return deadline day has been and gone but who will be worrying about claiming excessive expenses? We've got the list of the most outrageous seen by HMRC.

2 million people were expected to leave it until January 31 to get their Tax Return done. Of those that missed the deadline, many will not owe any tax at all but will still receive a £100 late filing penalty.

 

Inner peace

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs office has been running a campaign to get people to do their Tax Return online before January 31 - and thus enjoy the inner peace that comes with being early.

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But there will be lots of people without that serenity when they realise they have been over generous to themselves when it comes to the matter of claiming expenses.

HMRC has release a list of the most outrageous claims made for the year 2014-15.

Glamorous holidays abroad, luxury watches and Friday nights out feature on the list. Here's some more:

  • Luxury watches as Christmas gifts for staff - from a company with no employees.
  • International flights for dental treatment ahead of business meetings.
  • Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’.
  • Armani jeans as protective clothing for painter and decorator.
  • Cost of regular Friday night ‘bonding sessions’ - running into thousands of pounds..
  • Underwear - for personal use.
  • A garden shed for private use - plus the costs of the space it takes up in the garden.
  • Betting slips.
  • Caravan rental for the Easter weekend.

The expenses were all rejected.

Ludicrous

Ruth Owen, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said: “Year after year we receive a number of ludicrous expense claims, ranging from international holiday flights to expensive designer clothing, which we would never uphold. HMRC will only accept those claims which are genuine, such as legitimate travel expenses or the cost of tools for the job."

 

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HMRC is boosting its online protection and urging all customers to keep their personal details safe online, when completing their Self Assessment return.

In the run up to Tax Return deadline day HMRC will have issued more than a million Self Assessment emails. As one of the most phished brands in the world, HMRC has a strict protocol in place to help customers protect themselves Scammers use this peak in online activity to carry out increasingly sophisticated frauds and to make their phishing emails appear genuine and relevant.

An HMRC email to customers about their personal tax or tax credits will never include or ask for:

  • Personal or financial information of any sort - this includes the customer’s full address, full postcode, Unique Tax Reference (UTR) or any bank details.
  • Financial information which refers to specific figures, tax computations or specific facts about a customer
  • email attachments.
  • Web links.
  • An offer of a repayment or refund.
  • A personal HMRC email address to send a response to.

Readers are welcome to copy any of the information above and send it to colleagues and employees.

Picture: Have you already found inner peace by submitting your Tax Return early or will you be one of the 2 million doing it on January 31?

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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