Tax & admin · 15 January 2016

HMRC: Funniest excuses for filing late tax returns published

HMRC’s online tax self-assessment deadline is 31 January
It appears that Britain’s taxpayers are prepared to stop at nothing to pass the blame for filing late tax returns.

In advance of the imminent 31 January self-assessment deadline, HMRC has published some of the worst (or rather best) excuses the department has received from individuals with lax timekeeping from the previous tax year.

The plethora of excuses from late-payers in 2013/14 ranges from broken kitchen appliances to hungry pets all of which were unsuccessful. The other published excuses were as follows:

(1) My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them

(2) Im not a paperwork orientated person I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out

(3) My accountant has been ill

(4) My dog ate my tax return

(5) I will be abroad on deadline day with no internet access so will be unable to file

(6) My laptop broke, so did my washing machine

(7) My niece had moved in she made the house so untidy I could not find my log in details to complete my return online

(8) My husband ran over my laptop



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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