HMRC’s Top 5 Weird & Wonderful Self-Assessment Excuses

The 31st January 2019 self-assessment deadline is just around the corner, and individuals are rushing to get their paperwork altogether to submit to HMRC. Last year approximately 2.1 million people left their self-assessment tax return filing until January 2018 for the 2016/17 tax year. HMRC says that over 11.5 million taxpayers in total need to complete and file their 2017/18 returns before 31st January – and currently, only 70% of these have been completed. 

HMRC has noted that over the years it has had some weird and wonderful excuses as to why the submission deadline was missed. From witchcraft to height problems, HMRC has heard its fair share of interesting excuses. Here are their top five favourites:

  • “My mother in law is a witch and put a curse on me”.
  • “I’m too short to reach the post box”.
  • “I was just too busy”.
  • “Our junior member of staff registered our client in self-assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses.
  • “My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type”.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, these excuses were unsuccessful in attracting compassion from HMRC and were therefore unaccepted.

There are of course some special circumstances where you may have a reasonable excuse for filing your self-assessment after the deadline. These can be found on the Government’s Website…..Alongside a list of those excuses that are not acceptable.