My dog ate my tax return: HMRC releases some of the more unusual excuses for late tax returns

My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders.

That is just one of the unusual excuses used by people trying to get out of fines for not submitting their Self Assessments on time.

As the January 31 deadline nears for submitting Self Assessments, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has released some of the more unusual excuses it has received this year.

  • My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.
  • A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
  • My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
  • My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders.
  • 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.
  • My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn’t able to send it back.
  • I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
  • My husband told me the deadline was the 31st March.
  • My internet connection failed.
  • 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 January 31 deadline, get in touch with us now – the earlier we’re contacted, the better.”

There are around 1.9 million people registered for Self Assessment in South East England.