Worst excuses for late tax returns

No excuse for leaving your tax return to the last minute!

HM Revenue & Customs have revealed their list of the worst excuses they have received from people failing to submit their tax returns on time. The list contains the following classics:

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)

The penalty for filing a late tax return is £100 and needless to say all of the above people were left out of pocket by that amount.


With the 2013 Self Assessment tax return deadline of 31 January 2014 now behind us, it is tempting to think that there is a whole 11 months now until the next deadline and that this is something that doesn’t have to be thought about until then.


The list above is amusing but in reality there is no excuse for leaving your personal tax return until the end of January. In fact preparing the return earlier not only reduces the stress that comes with leaving things to the last minute but can actually benefit you.


It is useful to know sooner rather than later what your tax liability is going to be. This doesn’t mean you will have to pay the amount any earlier! Also, if you are due to make a July payment on account then the preparation of your tax return before this date will confirm if the amount demanded is reasonable.


Preparing your return early can keep you informed and assist with your planning. These are important areas that we can assist you with and we would be very happy to discuss your tax position and liabilities as part of a full review of your business and taxation affairs.



Get in touch for a free Consultation Today

Find out more