As the impending Tax return looms ever closer have you settled your debts with the tax man, or are you still panicking about that shoe box of receipts you’ve got stuffed under your desk?

With the busiest day recorded for Tax Returns as the 31st January, you may be wise to get things moving so you’re not one of the 500,000 people filing their return on the very deadline.

Even some 20,000 people were filing it out until the hour before 12pm that night.

Whether you’re self-employed, on more than one income or claiming any type of benefits, the tax man is not taking late returns lightly as this year he’s issued an infographic (below) listing the 10 worst excuses HMRC have received with late returns.

And let’s just say that having a run in with a cow, or your goldfish dying, will not stopping him from hitting you with a penalty of £100.

It may be pocket money to some, but the later it’s sent the bigger the fine, and it’s not just a late return that will get you a penalty.

Many businesses will be baffled to discover that even errors on your documents will incur a costly fine. And nobody likes a fine for an avoidable spelling mistake.

If you know your tax return is due this weekend make sure you take some advice from these unlikely but amusing excuses.

Even if your wife has been hiding your mail there’s no excuse funny enough that will be letting you off your duties.

If you’re confused about any of the jargon filled forms hire an accountant, or if you can’t afford that, give HMRC a call where their customer service line will be able to simplify it for you.

As the new tax year approaches why not get it done and start a fresh?

Click on the infographic from to enlarge it

Are you ready for the taxman

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