Taking Stock: The oddest excuses for late tax returns

THE FESTIVE PERIOD is, you will be surprised to hear, one of TS’s favourite times of year, and one generally celebrated safe in the knowledge all our tax affairs are in order.

That being the case, we at TS Towers are happily insulated from the stress of corresponding with the taxman over late payments.

So it was with a smug chuckle that we came into the office to find the following list waiting for us, replete with bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses that have all been used by late taxpayers this year:

1. My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder);
2. I had a run-in with a cow [helpfully pictured above: Ed] (Midlands farmer);
3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman);
4. My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader);
5. My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser);
6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer);
7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver);
8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man);
9. Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm); and
10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant).

It’s hard to choose a favourite, but without condoning their tardiness TS has to admire the accountant’s cheek. Very droll indeed.

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