And finally… tall tax tales

A man who failed to pay his taxes timeously has claimed that US president Barack Obama dealt with his finances after he was handed a fine for late payment.

The claim was one among many revealed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that people use to avoid penalties for failing to send their tax returns by the deadline.

One man said he was too busy searching for a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.

Another said he was in with the “wrong crowd” while yet another said he had been travelling the globe in an attempt to “escape from a foreign intelligence agency.”

HMRC director general of personal tax, Ruth Owen, said: “People can have a genuine excuse for missing a tax deadline, but owning a pet with a taste for HMRC envelopes isn’t one of them.

“You need to file your 201314 tax return online, and pay what you owe, by 31 January. But it’s best to do it now.”

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