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HMRC's top ten list of bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses

29 January 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: HMRC
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Author: HMRC

HMRC has revealed the ‘Top 10 oddest excuses’ for sending in a late return.

The following "bizarre, exotic and flimsy" excuses have all been tried, unsuccessfully by tardy taxpayers who were hoping to avoid the £100 late filing penalty:

  • 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). 

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Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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