Good Capitalists obviously try to reduce their tax burden where legal (and morally appropriate). One easy way to do this is to file your tax return on time and avoid a surcharge! Back when Greg Hands MP was a fan of a small state and lower taxes (he once drove a steam-roller to the Tory party conference waving a placard demanding FLATTEN TAXES NOT THE ECONOMY!) he used to say that taxes should be paid all in one go just after Christmas, so people would be metaphorically writing their cheques straight after finishing the turkey. The idea was that it would make people notice how much they were really paying and maybe increase the democratic pressure for reductions. Ancient history, of course: they are all Butskellites now.
Anyway as is the annual tradition, the BBC recently ran a fun article, no doubt supplied with a neat press release from HMRC, revealing some of the excuses that have been given for late filing of tax returns - presumably hoping that the excuse would reduce the fine.
My personal favourite: "My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for 10 days."
I am sure that our esteemed readers have heard, or perhaps even used, excuses for not having done something they know they should have done. What is the best our readers have heard/used?
BE usually does his tax return early, as the "real time" PAYE system doesn't seem to be able to take into account his SIPP pension contributions, and he is invariably owed a refund by HMRC each year.