Goldfish, Cow and Volcano Excuses Dismissed By HMRC
Goldfish, Cow and Volcano Excuses Dismissed By HMRC


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

  • 8. Cruising

    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.

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