Who says HMRC hasn't got a sense of humour? Er, 65 million Brits

I missed my Self Assessment filing deadline because.... a rundown of the worst excuses

Brits’ favourite government department, Her Majesty’s Revenues & Customs, has released a listicle of the most bizarre excuses people have given for missing the Self Assessment tax returns deadline, along with the weirdest biz expense claims

The UK’s tax collector isn't compiling the oddest top 10 from the last decade simply to make people laugh, it is just meant to serve as a timely reminder that the 31 January date for personal filings in almost upon us.

Still, smile for a while (if you can) and spare a thought for the poor misguided fool that decided to borrow an excuse from their schooldays when they told HMRC the reason for the tardy filing was because “My dog ate the post… again.” That was at least better than another poor sap who instead blamed his rabid hamster for chowing down on the mail.

Others had a holiday theme, with someone saying he was “up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal,” and a second that opted to appeal to the better nature of tax collectors by telling them:

“I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land.” Presumably that individual found themselves, metaphorically at least, in, er, hot water.

Similarly, the joker that claimed to be a disc jockey and “too busy with a party lifestyle - spinning the deck… in a bowls club” didn’t manage to get a penalty-free extension to get their tax returns. Strange ‘cos El Reg would have thought that excuse may have tugged at the heartstrings of HMRC people, who are notorious for donning a chequered trouser and having a quick bowls game.

The worst reason given for the late filing was seemingly borrowed from the bawdy comedians who plied their trade in working men’s clubs during the 1970s: “My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me”. One wonders if that man is still married.

As for the sharpest excuses used to push through expense claims? They weren’t any better or more successful. Someone tried to shoehorn in a “Caravan rental for the Easter weekend.”

Another, from presumably a different and more rotund person (it was not this hack), claimed £4.50 for “sausage and chips meal”. Each day. For 250 days. It is true that some clients have simple tastes, so why flatter them with lobster and champagne when all they want are bangers and fries.

Back to pets, some chancer tried their luck by claiming for pet food for the resident Shih Tzu “guard dog”. We are guessing it was food of the tinned variety rather than fat steaks shipped in from Wagu beef farms in Japan.

The final expense claim didn’t seem so bad to us, but then we have a lot of millennials in the office: “Music subscription so I can listen to music while I work.” Better than listening to grumpy, whiny editors (enough of that talk - Ed). ®

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