Late Tax Returns: The Worst (and Funniest) Excuses on Record

by | Jan 12, 2023

Surely, we’ve all had to rely on excuses for homework not being done when were young. The most familiar must be the old, “my dog ate my homework”. Classic.

Would you be surprised to hear that people have been equally creative when it comes to reasons for being late on their tax returns?

In recent years, HMRC has compiled a list of the worst and most unusual excuses people have given for late self-assessment tax returns. None of these will, unfortunately, get you out of paying a penalty.

So, by way of reminding us all to get it done, here are our favourite (worst) excuses for late self-assessment tax filings on record:

  1. “My tax return was on my yacht…which caught fire.”
  2. “I couldn’t complete my tax return, because my husband left me and took our accountant with him. I am currently trying to find a new accountant.”
  3. “I had a cold which took a long time to go.”
  4. “A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.”
  5. “I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for 5 years.”
  6. “I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land.”
  7. “My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me.”
  8. “My laptop broke, so did my washing machine.”
  9. “I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn.”
  10. “I’m too short to reach the post box.”
  11. “One junior member of staff registered our client in Self-Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses.”
  12. “My boiler had broken, and my fingers were too cold to type.”
  13. “I couldn’t file my return on time as my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house.

About 750 000 tax payers file their tax returns late every year, resulting in a penalty of £100. If you still need to file your tax return, then contact Taxdash. Our team of accountants is ready to assist you with getting your return filed quickly, accurately and, of course, on time. Avoid the penalties with Taxdash – Streamlined, Professional tax returns.