You have to have a good reason to miss the tax return filing deadline (31st January) otherwise an automatic £100 penalty is charged with further fines until the return is filed and any tax paid.
Some people do however give a good shot at having that penalty removed and HMRC has today published their top 10 list of bad excuses.
1. Death of a Goldfish
A self employed builder used this excuse when appealing against the £100 penalty and it was promptly dismissed.
2. Cow fight
A farmer in the Midlands was prevented from filing a tax return by a cow.
3. Volcanic brain ash
A woman in London lost all concentration after seeing a volcano spew ash on the news.
4. No mail for male
A self employed trader's wife would not give him his mail.
5. It's the 31st of March, right?
A Leicester Hairdresser consulted her husband on the (wrong) due date.
6. Too busy with work to pay tax
A Coventry based playwright was touring the country and didn't have time to file his tax return.
7. Upstairs Downstairs
Stairs prevent a taxi driver with a bad back from completing a tax return
A man from the South East couldn't pick up his post as he was on a round the would yacht cruise.
9. Financial 'No' Services
A Kent based Financial Services firm didn't file a return as they "... don't really do anything ...".
10. Do as I say, not as I do
Too busy with clients' tax returns was the excuse from a London accountant.