“I had a run-in with a cow” and other bizarre excuses for not getting your tax return in on time

One man said he had

One man said he had 'a run in with a cow' which meant his tax return was sent in late. Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

2009 Getty Images

With the dreaded January 31 tax return deadline just around the corner, HM Revenue and Customs has revealed the ‘Top 10 oddest excuses’ for sending a self-assessment form in late.

Top 10 excuses for late tax returns

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)

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

(source: HMRC)

Ranging from a husband whose wife wouldn’t let him see his mail, to a woman unable to concentrate after seeing a volcano erupt on television, the only reward for their creativity was a £100 fine.

The bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses, were all used by people and businesses to appeal against the penalty, but unsurprisingly were unsuccessful.

HMRC’s Director General of Personal Tax, Ruth Owen, said: “There will always be unforeseen events that mean a taxpayer could not file their tax return on time.

“However, your pet goldfish passing away isn’t one of them.”

She said anybody who hasn’t yet sent a 2012/13 tax return needs to do it online by the end of January, adding that with all the help and advice available, there is no excuse not to, especially if the excuse is that your goldfish has just died.

For more information on self-assessment click here or call the helpline on 0300 200 3310.

Latest Stories

The woman was attacked in a house in Hatherley Road, Walthamstow (Picture: Google Streetview)

A woman was stabbed in the neck and a six-year-old child injured after they were attacked at a house in Walthamstow in broad daylight.

Read more
07:49
Boris Johnson is angry his plans for a new airport in the Thames estuary have been rejected (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has reacted angrily to the decision by the Airports Commission to reject plans for ‘Boris Island’, accusing its author Sir Howard Davies of setting the debate on aviation expansion back by half a century.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:24
Jordan Dunn took an illegal free kick during the match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

A West Ham football fan today admitted running on to the pitch and taking a free kick during a Premier League match.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Quizzes

Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more