Hilarious excuses for late self-assessment tax returns

Top 10 excuses for late self-assessment returns

With the 31 January tax return deadline just around the corner, HMRC has revealed their ‘Top 10 oddest excuses’ for sending in a late self-assessment tax return.

The following bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses have all been used by tardy taxpayers:

1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder);

2. I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer);

3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman);

4. My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader);

5. My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser);

6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer);

7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver);

8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man);

9. Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm); and

10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).


31st January is just around the corner chaps.  Don’t be late in filing your return.

Or alternatively, start thinking of a better excuse than one of the above!

Image Credit: Flickr


I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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