Top 10 Odd Excuses for Sending in a Late Tax Return

If you are going to have an excuse for not filing your tax return on time then it had better be a good one. With the 31 January tax return deadline just around the corner, HM Revenue and Customs (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:

1.  My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder);

2.  I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer);

3.  After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman);

4.  My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader);

5.  My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser);

6.  I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer);

7.  My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver);

8.  I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man);

9.  Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm); and

10.  I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).

HMRC reported that all of these people and businesses received a £100 penalty from HMRC for filing late. They appealed against the decision using these excuses, but were unsuccessful.