Skip to main content

HMRC's lists of worst excuses for late filed tax returns

Each January HMRC release a list which gets wide publicity and nudges late filers to get their tax returns submitted before the filing deadline at the end of the month.

In 2015 the list they released comprised:


  • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a postbox or get an internet signal.
  • I fell in with the wrong crowd.
  • I’ve been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
  • Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
  • I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
  • A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn’t give it back.
  • I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
  • My girlfriend’s pregnant.
  • I was in Australia

  • In 2016, a new list was released, and is just as bad:
    1. My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them 
    2. I’m not a paperwork orientated person
    3. I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out 
    4. My accountant has been ill 
    5. My dog ate my tax return 
    6. I will be abroad on deadline day with no internet access so will be unable to file 
    7. My laptop broke, so did my washing machine 
    8. My niece had moved in – she made the house so untidy I could not find my log in details to complete my return online 
    9. My husband ran over my laptop 
    10. I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for 5 years 
    11. I had a cold which took a long time to go
    The list released in 2014 is on this blog here>>>

    Post a Comment

    Popular posts from this blog

    Are you a prostitute or are you an auditor?

    1. You work very odd hours.

    2. You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy.

    3. You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money.

    4. You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.

    5. You charge by the hour but your time can be extended.

    6. You are not proud of what you do.

    7. Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.

    8. It's difficult to have a family.

    9. You have no job satisfaction.

    10. If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client.

    11. You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living.

    12. People ask you, "What do you do?" and you can't explain it.

    13. Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate.

    14. Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money.

    15. Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or Jaguars.

    16. Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain of it all.

    17. You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth but if the client…

    Ken Dodd and the Inland Revenue

    The comedian Ken Dodd, was prosecuted for tax evasion in 1989 as has been mentioned on this blog before, here and here. I'd love to find a clip of him talking about it in his act. For now though here are a couple of references to comments he makes about the experience.

    He is known to introduce himself as a “failed accountant”. That, he explains, is simply to establish a rapport with the audience. “People today are all stressed out about home economics, and accountants are the current bogeymen. [Since when?]

    Dodd is the butt of a lot of his material and repeated references are made to his love of money, his dislike of what he insists on calling the Inland Revenue and his past run-in with them. “They sent me a self-assessment form the other day. To me! I invented self-assessment.”

    During the trial it was revealed that Dodd had very little money in his bank account. He did however have £336,000 in cash stashed in suitcases in his attic. When asked by the judge, "What does a…

    Do accountants laugh?

    "Do accountants laugh?" was a question posed online by top Comedy Magician, John Archer ahead of a gig for accountants.

    Among the replies he received were:
    It depends on their clientsOnly where they lose their balanceWhen it's at someones else's expenseYes, when their balance sheet balancesAs soon as you pay their bill