British households with a television are required to pay an annual fee of £145.50 ($228) which goes towards funding public broadcaster the BBC. But more than 400,000 Britons were caught watching TV in the UK without having paid for a license in 2012, BBC News said today. Folks who believe they are exempt can make a “no license fee needed” claim to watchdog TV Licensing, with such valid reasons as having no TV set, if a TV is only used to watch DVDs or if catch-up services only are being accessed. Being caught without a valid license is a criminal offense and can come with a fine of up to £1,000, but even TV Licensing has kept a sense of humor about the recent revelations. Below are some of its favorite 2012 excuses from people caught without a permit:

- “Why would I need a TV Licence for a TV I stole? Nobody knows I’ve got it”

- “I had not paid as I received a lethal injection”

- “Apparently my dog, which is a corgi, was related to the Queen’s dog so I didn’t think I needed a TV Licence”

- “I could not pay for my TV Licence because the Olympic torch was coming down my road and I could not get to the shop as the road was too busy”

- A customer presenting a half-torn paper license to a visiting Enquiry Officer: “I spend so much time at my neighbour’s house, we thought we would just share a TV Licence; my neighbour has the other half”

- “I got caught shoplifting so I’m barred from the shop that takes PayPoint payments”

Click here for the full list, plus a series of videos the org made to dissuade evaders.

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