"A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident…

21 December 2016

Each year HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receives a number of unusual excuses why Self Assessment (SA) customers didn’t complete their tax return on time.

These include:

  1. My tax return was on my yacht, which caught fire.
  2. A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed.
  3. My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days.
  4. My dog ate my tax return...and all of the reminders.
  5. 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.
  6. My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn't able to send it back.
  7. I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it.
  8. My husband told me the deadline was the 31st March.
  9. My internet connection failed.
  10. The postman doesn’t deliver to my house.

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

The deadline for sending 2015-16 Self Assessment tax returns to HMRC, and paying any tax owed, is 31 January 2017. Self Assessment customers can now also submit their return via their Personal Tax Account, it takes five minutes to sign up for an account.

Customers who provide HMRC with a reasonable excuse before the 31 January deadline can avoid a penalty after this date.

Help is available from the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns or from the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310.