Our Top 10 Worst Excuses for Late Tax Returns

With just over a week left to file your self-assessment tax returns it’s always amusing to read through the bizarre excuses some people have given to HMRC for missing the deadline. Here are some of our favourites from over the years:

  •          My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type
  •          I’m too short to reach the post box
  •          My wife won’t give me my mail
  •          My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is
  •          I had a run-in with a cow
  •          I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn't find a post box or get an internet signal
  •          I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn

 And of course no list is complete without the age old the dog ate my homework excuse.

  •          my dog ate the post… again
  •          my hamster ate my post

 And finally the worst excuse came from a London Accountant . . .

  •          I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns !!


However amusing these excuses are HMRC don’t look too kindly on them. The deadline for submitting your tax return and paying any tax owed is 31st January. If you miss this, HMRC can charge you a £100 penalty for late filing even if you don’t owe any tax and this can increase the longer you leave it. 

After such a tough year some of you may have worries about paying your tax bill but the advice from HMRC is to submit you tax return on time and contact them as soon as possible if you think you're going to be unable to pay. You should be able to agree a Time to Pay Arrangement which lets you spread the cost of your tax bill over monthly installments. 

Self Assessment Payment Helpline 
Telephone: 0300 200 3822 

Bookkeeper Buddy are fully trained and experienced and ready to help you with any bookkeeping needs you may have. Contact us today to see how we can help you take control of your finances. 

Email: fiona@bookkeeperbuddy.co.uk

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Important Dates

  • 31 October – deadline for filing your paper return
  • 31 January – deadline for filing your online return
  • 31 January – deadline to pay your tax bill