Dog wearing glasses

Top 10 wackiest tax return excuses and expense claims


As another 31 January Self-Assessment deadline looms I think it’s time for a bit of light relief!

Every year HMRC receives some imaginative excuses and expense claims and they recently published 10 of the most weird and wonderful excuses they received from taxpayers who have missed the deadline over the last 10 years.

So here goes...HMRC’s 'top 10' most bizarre excuses and questionable expenses claims:

   10. Caravan rental for the Easter weekend.

  1. I was up a mountain in Wales and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal.

  1. My dog ate the post …again.

  1. Claiming £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days.

  1. My hamster ate my post.

  1. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht and only picking up post when I’m on dry land.

  1. A music subscription so I can listen to music while I work.

  1. Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’.

  1. A DJ was too busy with a party lifestyle – spinning the decks …in a bowls club.

  1. My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me.

Unsurprisingly all of the above excuses and expenses claims were unsuccessful.

Anyone who misses the 31st  January deadline for filing their tax return will face an automatic £100 penalty. It is possible to contest the penalty if you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for missing the deadline.

Genuine excuses which may be accepted include physical or mental disability, death of a family member and serious problems with online filing.

If you do miss the deadline, you should still make every effort to file your return and pay your tax liability as soon as possible. Further penalties will apply if the return is still outstanding after 3 months or more. There are also additional penalties for paying your tax late of 5% of the unpaid tax after 30 days, 6 months and 12 months.     

If you’d like more information about our tax planning services, get in touch by calling 01768 222030 or email me at

Contact Graham