If come 1st February you are looking for an excuse to avoid a penalty for not filing your tax return, HMRC have published their list of unacceptable excuses.
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); and
- I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).
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.