THE self employed in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area have only 11 days to go to lodge their tax returns.

HM Revenue and Customs this week stressed to people who have yet to make their Self Assessment return to contact them if they are having any problems.

They insist they can ensure that the deadline is met if a person needs assistance.

Each year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receives some imaginative excuses and expense claims following the January 31 Self Assessment deadline.

The most bizarre excuses and questionable expenses claims for items have included, 'I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal'; 'My dog ate the post … again'; 'Claiming £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days'; and 'A music subscription so I can listen to music while I work'. All were unsuccessful.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said: “Each year, we try to make it as easy and simple as possible for our customers to complete their tax returns and the majority make the effort to do theirs' right and on time. But, we still come across some unusual excuses and expenses which range from problems with a mother-in-law to yachts set on fire.

“We always offer help to those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time. It is unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims.

“If you think you might miss the January 31 deadline, get in touch with us now – the earlier we’re contacted, the more we can help.”

Help to complete your return is available on GOV.UK, from the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310, or on social media.