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“My dog ate my tax return…and all of the reminders”

An interesting article about Tax Returns from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) highlighting the importance of having it prepared on time and some of the rather creative excuses some people have come up with to try and avoid it.

Each year HMRC receives several unusual excuses from Self-Assessment customers who 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 31 March”
  9. “My internet connection failed”
  10. “The postman doesn’t deliver to my house”

The penalties for late tax returns are: an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time after three months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900 after six months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater.

There are also additional penalties for paying late of 5% of the tax unpaid at 30 days, six months and 12 months.

If you need help with your Tax Return, please feel free to contact our tax team.

Delyth Barnett (

Duncan Bruce (

To view the article please click here.

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