HMRC reveal the stupid reasons for people not doing their tax returns

taxbill People give all manner of reasons for not handing a tax return in on-time, and HM Revenue & Customs has heard them all. And now, with a tax return deadline imminent, they thought they'd share the daftest reason for people's tardiness.

Goldfish dying and woman too stunned after seeing a volcano go off on the news got onto the top ten of the most ‘bizarre and flimsy’ excuses and each one was met with a £100 fine from HMRC officials.

Others include a thespian from Coventry who said he was too busy touring the country with his one-man play while elsewhere, a taxi driver with a bad back would've done his return but he had a bad back and wasn't able to clamber upstairs to get his tax return form. One corker was the man on a world cruise in his yacht who basically said they don't have postboxes on the sea.

The best was a London accountant who told inspectors that he had been too busy submitting his clients’ tax returns to file his own.

HMRC’s head 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."

Fill out a self-assessment return for the 2012/13 tax year before the January 31st if you want to avoid a fine and if you're struggling, have a look at or call the self-assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.


  • Arse C.
    BW will do anything to put a correct link to HMRC, won't they?
  • Arse C.
    *avoid putting
  • UJF

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