"She’s been in there so long I completely forget to include her in my self-assessment form," said Mr Chesney Benson, of Hunstanton. "Of course I now realise that I should have declared her, but she’s so quiet, hidden away in the cupboard. I barely know she’s there. I only ever see her when I get the Hoover out."
"We get a lot of people forgetting to declare Moira Stuart," said an HMRC representative, "but any income gained from having a newscaster living in the house is, of course, liable to tax."
This year HMRC are believed to be cracking down heavily on people failing to declare live-in newscasters. "Of course there are some grey areas," said Radio 4’s Money Box presenter, Vincent Duggleby, "For example, a lot of people are claiming that having Natasha Kaplinsky in the house doesn’t count because she’s not a proper newsreader. The jury is still out on that one."
"I never had this trouble with Adam Hart Davis," said Mr Benson, "When he was living with me, you always knew he was there, making a nuisance of himself, cycling round and round the living room in his Day-Glo pants telling me to fill in my form. They say tax doesn’t have to be taxing but he certainly was."
People still have until 31st January to file their Self-Assessment online. However, the HMRC say that if they have any suspicions they will be sending round a tax inspector to check under the stairs.