You may have seen the recent article from the Insolvency Service about the hapless individual that attempted to avoid disqualification by faking his own death.

If you haven’t, the full story can be read here and tells the tale of Bradley Silver whose company 24/7 London GRP (UK) BLimited was wound up in the public interest after spoofing its way into TV production companies on the back of some poorly forged accounts and no doubt no short measure of spiel by Mr Silver.

Apparently undeterred by the notion that the collapse of his scam might mean he was not actually a very good confidence trickster, he tried one last wheeze… on the Insolvency Service and Registrar Derrett. Unsurprisingly they saw through Adam Solomons, a friend of Mr Silver who contacted the Service to explain that Mr Silver had committed suicide. The fact that Silver and Solomons had a common phone number and signature gave a hint that they were the same person, which of course they were. Receiving 14 years disqualification (the maximum is 15 years) this is another reminder that integrity and competence are more relevant than deficiency in disqualification proceedings. In this case the deficiency to creditors was reportedly just £15k.

Whilst the above is an extreme example of desperate measures, elaborate excuses are commonplace, as highlighted by HM Revenue & Customs and their “Top 10” excuses for debtors failing to file their tax return. These include blaming family members for driving over laptops, losing internet log-in details, having a cold “which took a long time to go” and even paperwork being eaten by the family pet.

So as we hurtle towards the end of the year, 31 January 2018 will come round very quickly and we can only suggest that filing your self-assessment return will probably be easier than coming up with an excuse, because they really have heard them all…

  • A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
  • My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
  • My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn't able to send it back.
  • I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
  • My husband told me the deadline was the 31 March
  • The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.

And finally…

  • My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.

Danny Allen 

Director 

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