HMRC rejects Self-Assessment expenses and excuses

Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said ‘Each year we still come across some questionable excuses, whether that’s blaming a bus touring schedule or seeing aliens. However, each year we’re making it easier and more intuitive for our customers to complete their tax return.

We also receive absurd expense claims from vet fees for a rabbit to room service at a hotel. It is unfair to make honest taxpayers pick up the bill for other people’s spurious claims, so HMRC will only accept sincere claims such as legitimate expenses for a job.’

HMRC have released the latest list of imaginative excuse claims and late tax return excuses made by individuals who failed to submit their return by 31st January 2017.

Top failed Self-Employed expense claims

  • A three-piece suit for my partner to sit on when I’m doing my accounts
  • Birthday drinks at a Glasgow nightclub
  • Vet fees for a rabbit
  • Hotel room service – for Candles and Prosecco
  • £4.50 for sausage and chip meal expenses for 250 days.


Top excuses for missing the tax return deadline

  • I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house
  • I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play
  • My ex-wife left my tax return upstairs, but I suffer from vertigo and can’t go up to retrieve it
  • My business doesn’t really do anything
  • I spilt coffee on it

If you require online personal loans assistance on what expenses you can claim, please contact us.


HMRC halts the scam text messages

90 percent of the most convincing scam text messages are now being halted by HMRC before they reach the taxpayers phone.

Fraudsters alleging to be from HMRC are sending text messages to the unsuspecting members of public. These messages contain false claims e.g. suggesting a tax rebate is available. The message contain links to website that harvest personal information or spread malware. Thus leading to identity fraud and theft of people’s personal savings.

HMRC do not use text messages or emails to communicate with tax payers in relation to a tax refund.

Due to many text messages displaying ‘HMRC’ as the sender, rather than a phone number it appears more legitimate. This is making is more likely to fall for the scam.

As this type of fraud has increased quickly in volume over the last few year HMRC started working alongside the public and private partners in April 2017 to combat this. The newly introduced technology identifies the fraud texts with ‘tags’ that suggest that they are from HMRC and stops them from being delivered.

With this technology in place there has been a 90% reduction in customer reports around the HMRC related tags. From over 5,000 scams reports in March 2017 to fewer than 1,000 in December 2017 shows the progress since the introduction of the programme kindly visit online casino bonuses.

HMRC have also initiated the removal of 16,000 malicious website within the last 12 months. This means that even if the text messages are removed, the associated phishing website is likely to have been removed.

HMRC’s Director of Customer Services, Angela MacDonald said:

‘ HMRC is focused on becoming the most digitally advanced tax authority in the world, and a big part of that related to keeping our customers safe from online scammers.

As email and website scams become less effective, fraudsters are increasingly turning to text messages to con taxpayers. But as these numbers show, we won’t rest until these criminals are out of avenues to exploit.

We have made significant progress in cutting down these types of crime, but one of the most effective ways to tackle it is to help the public spot the tell-tales signs of fraud’.

To further the work and extend benefits beyond HMRC customers, they are working with the National Cyber Security Centre.


Update list of Professional Subscriptions

Employees can claim tax relief on their annual professional fees/subscriptions on HMRC approved professional organisations. The costs are deductible where an individual must have a membership to do their job or is helpful for their work. If fees are paid by the employer this will not result in a benefit in kind charge.

HMRC have updated the list of approved bodies which also includes not only the details of professional bodies that are approved but of qualifying annual subscriptions for journals.

Please see below link: Approved bodies list


Tax-free childcare roll out

The implementation of Tax-Free Childcare is the new government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare. This is becoming available to eligible parents in stages.

Having debuted in April 2017 there have been initial systems problems. HMRC’s aims to have the scheme open to all eligible parents by 14th February 2018. Applications can be made online through the Childcare Choices site and applications can be made for all eligible children at the same times.

Under the tax-free Childcare, for every £8 the parent pays, the government provides a £2 top-up, to a maximum of £2,000 per child each year – with a higher limit of £4,000 for disable children. This gives a total childcare pot of £10,000 or £20,000 for disables children. To be eligible, parents must generally have minimum weekly earnings of at least £120 each. There is also an upper earnings limit of £100,000.

Compensation may be available in certain circumstances where a parent:

  • Is unable to complete an application for Tax-free Childcare
  • Is unable to access their childcare account
  • Or doesn’t get a decision about whether they are eligible. Without explanation, for more than 20 days.

Those that employ a nanny should be able to use the childcare account to pay their PAYE tax and National Insurances. Delays in getting this system working may also give grounds for compensation.


Applications is made online: GOV.UK childcare-service-compensation


What will the Spring Statement bring?

We had two budgets in 2017 and the Spring Statement is planned for Tuesday 13 March 2018.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has previously stated that at the Spring Budget Statement he will be responding to:

  • The Office for Budget Responsibility Forecast
  • Considering longer-term tax challenges
  • Starting consultations on how they can be addressed.

If the economic circumstances require then the government have the option to make immediate changes to the tax policy.

The revised timetable of an Autumn Budget followed by a Spring Statement means changes to the legislative timetable which are set out in the link below.

We will be keeping you updated with the relevant Spring Statement Announcements.

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