With the 31 January tax return deadline just around the corner, HMRC has revealed the ‘Top 10 oddest excuses’ for sending in a late return.
The following bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses have all been used by tardy taxpayers:
- My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder)
- I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer)
- After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman)
- My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader)
- My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser)
- I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer)
- My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver)
- I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man)
- Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm)
- I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant)
All of these people and businesses received a £100 penalty from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for filing late. They appealed against the decision using these excuses, but were unsuccessful.
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David K Crossley CTA, ATT
Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation