1. ITV Report

Top 10 tax return excuses revealed

The ten worst excuses for missing the Self Assessment deadline for 2013-14 have today been revealed. Photo: PA/Joe Giddens

From hungry animals devouring tax forms, to people claiming they are bad with paperwork, HM Revenue and Customs has revealed the worst excuses it's heard over the past year from people filing late tax returns.

It appears some people will stop at nothing to pass the blame for tardy timekeeping.

  • 1. My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them
  • 2. I’m not a paperwork-orientated person – I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out
  • 3. My accountant has been ill
  • 4. My dog ate my tax return
  • 5. I will be abroad on deadline day with no internet access so will be unable to file
  • 6. My laptop broke, so did my washing machine
  • 7. My niece had moved in – she made the house so untidy I could not find my log-in details to complete my return online
  • 8. My husband ran over my laptop
  • 9. I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for 5 years
  • 10. I had a cold which took a long time to go

The excuses were all used in unsuccessful appeals against HMRC penalties for late returns.

The published list comes with a reminder, as the deadline for sending 2014-15 tax returns to HMRC, and paying any tax owed, is 31 January 2016.