Register to get unlimited access to Citywire’s fund manager database. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

'My pet goldfish died': 10 freak excuses for late tax returns

With the deadline for self-assessment tax returns fast approaching, HMRC reveals it 10 favourite excuses for late tax returns.

Smells fishy

‘My pet goldfish died.’ It’s hard to see why this would stop you sending in a tax return, but one self-employed builder thought it was worth a try. Given his profession you’d be forgiven for thinking that he would be an expert at inventing plausible excuses for not getting work done on time!

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Smells fishy

‘My pet goldfish died.’ It’s hard to see why this would stop you sending in a tax return, but one self-employed builder thought it was worth a try. Given his profession you’d be forgiven for thinking that he would be an expert at inventing plausible excuses for not getting work done on time!

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Got beef

‘I had a run-in with a cow.’ We’ve all been there. You’re just about to file your tax return and then….you have a run-in with a cow. This was sent in by a Midlands-based farmer, so in fairness it could at least be plausible… sort of. OK, well not really.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Explosive stuff

‘After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.’

If a volcanic eruption stops you filling in a tax return, what happens if you catch a news item on the outbreak of war or, say, the death of Nelson Mandela? It must be a nightmare trying to balance administrative tasks with avoiding all news, ever.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Communication breakdown

‘My wife won’t give me my mail.’ There may be genuinely tragic circumstances behind this excuse from a self-employed trader, so probably best not to joke.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Cutting it fine

‘My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him.’ This excuse was used by a Leicester-based hairdresser who missed the cut-off point for her tax return. Let’s hope her hopeless husband wasn’t given the hairdryer treatment when his wife was landed with a £100 penalty.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Acting up

‘I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play,’ was one excuse from a ‘Coventry writer’. Maybe we’re being harsh, but it’s unlikely HMRC missed out on a bumper tax haul with this one…

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

On the naughty step

‘My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is,’ claimed a ‘working taxi driver’. So how did it get up there in the first place?

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Cruising for a bruising

‘I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land,’ claimed ‘South East man’. Cry me a river…

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Financial floundering

Here we go – the one entry in HMRC’s Top 10 from a financial services firm. ‘Our business doesn’t really do anything,’ claimed the Kent company. Can’t say fairer than that.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.

Accounting error

Oh, the irony. A London-based accountant has managed to squeeze their way into the list. With the frankly ingenious excuse of ‘I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns.’

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Brewin's Gutteridge: Yuan direction

Brewin's Gutteridge: Yuan direction

This week Brewin Dolphin's research head chats to Fidelity Asian Investment Directors Jenny Lee and Gary Monaghan about the big changes in China.

Play On the Road Challenge: horsing around on the polo pitch

On the Road Challenge: horsing around on the polo pitch

Libby Ashby takes to the polo pitch with Stuart Leigh-Davies from Redmayne-Bentley for an 'On the Road' challenge.

Brewin's Gutteridge: where Miton's Godber sees value

Brewin's Gutteridge: where Miton's Godber sees value

This week Brewin Dolphin's research head talks to George Godber, co-lead fund manager of the Miton UK Value Opportunities fund, about value investing.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: what tempted Brewin's Glasgow team over to Rathbones?

Profile: what tempted Brewin's Glasgow team over to Rathbones?

Rathbones’ Glasgow office has only been open for three months but the team, led by Angus Kerr, has already attracted new clients

Wealth Manager on Twitter