H M Revenue & Customs revealed the top ten oddest excuses for late tax returns ahead of the 31 January deadline.
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)
The above people and businesses had all received the £100 late filing fee and tried appealing with these excuses, but were all unsuccessful.
Ruth Owen, HMRC’s Director General of Personal Tax, said:
“There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time. However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them.
If you haven’t yet sent your 2012 to 2013 tax return to HMRC, you need to do it online and pay the tax you owe by the end of January. With all the help and advice available, there’s no excuse not to.”