Though most complete their tax returns honestly and on time,  every year HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receives some outlandish excuses.

Some of the most bizarre excuses HMRC received from those who missed the Self Assessment deadline show a large amount of creativity, if not a great deal of common sense. Here are some of the strangest from the past year:
• 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 – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn
• 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

Creativity is not just limited to late filing excuses. Expense claims can prove equally intriguing, such as the following.
•A carpenter claiming £900 for a 55-inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs
• £40 on extra woolly underwear, for 5 years
• £756 for “my pet dog insurance”
• A music subscription “so I can listen to music while I work”
• A family holiday to Nigeria

All these excuses and expense claims were unsuccessful.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Services, said:
“We want to make it as simple as possible for our customers to do their tax returns and the majority make the effort to do theirs right and on time. But each year we still come across some poor excuses and expenses which range from problems with maids to televisions.

Help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time but it’s unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims.”

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