Excuses for late Personal Tax Returns

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Top 10 excuses HMRC received for late Personal Tax Returns

Last updated on Thursday, February 18, 2016

Written by Dinah Makani

You’ve completed your Personal Tax Return now (or at least we hope so), so why not sit back and relax whilst you read our blog on some of the worst excuses submitted to HMRC by those who filed a late Tax Return.


From the traditional ‘my dog ate it’ excuse to an argument that spanned over 5 years, here are some of our favourites:

  • My tax papers were left in the shed and the rat ate them
  • I’m not a paperwork orientated person – I always relied on my sister to complete my returns but we have now fallen out
  • My accountant has been ill
  • My dog ate my tax return
  • I will be abroad on deadline day with no internet access so will be unable to file
  • My laptop broke, so did my washing machine
  • My niece had moved in – she made the house so untidy I could not find my log in details to complete my return online
  • My husband ran over my laptop
  • I had an argument with my wife and went to Italy for 5 years
  • I had a cold which took a long time to go


HMRC has commented, “Untidy family members and hungry pets are very unlikely to be accepted as a legitimate excuse for completing your tax return late.”

They do however understand that there will be some reasons that give people a legitimate excuse for submitting a late Tax Return.

If you still have not submitted your Personal Tax Return, then why not get in touch with our Personal Tax team who can help you get your Tax Return completed as soon as possible by emailing Personaltax@churchill-knight.co.uk 

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