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You are here: Home » Latest News » If you miss the self-assessment deadline, what will your excuse be?

If you miss the self-assessment deadline, what will your excuse be?


The deadline for self-assessment tax returns is looming on 31 January. If you have not yet submitted your tax return or provided us with all the information needed to do so for you, it is crucial that you let us have this as soon as possible.

HM Revenue & Customs has now issued a list of the top ten most unusual excuses it has received from people who have failed to meet the self-assessment deadline:

  1. “My tax return was on my yacht…which caught fire”
  2. “A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed”
  3. “My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days”
  4. “My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders”
  5. “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”
  6. “My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn’t able to send it back”
  7. “I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it”
  8. “My husband told me the deadline was the 31 March”
  9. “My internet connection failed”
  10. “The postman doesn’t deliver to my house”

Ruth Owen, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said: “Blaming the postman, arguing with family members and pesky insects – it’s easy to see that some excuses for not completing a tax return on time can be more questionable than others. Luckily, it’s only a small minority who chance their arm.

“But there will always be help and support available for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time. If you think you might miss the 31 January deadline, get in touch with us now – the earlier we’re contacted, the better.”

Link: My tax return was on my yacht… which caught fire”

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