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  • Michael Roberts

Tax Return Deadline Reminder (and some great excuses!)

Without fail, HMRC receives numerous bizarre excuses from individuals to explain why they could not submit their Self Assessment tax return on time. Here are the top ten excuses for the 2014/15 tax year.

“My tax return was on my yacht…which caught fire"

“A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed"

“My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days"

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

“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"

“My child scribbled all over the tax return, so I wasn’t able to send it back"

“I work for myself, but a colleague borrowed my tax return to photocopy it and lost it"

“My husband told me the deadline was the 31 March"

“My internet connection failed"

“The postman doesn’t deliver to my house"

HMRC may accept reasonable reasons but may require evidence to support the claim.

Failing to submit and pay the tax owed will result in penalties. The penalties for late tax returns are: an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay. A complicated scale of further penalties applies for late filing and payment of tax. HMRC have created a calculator so that you can estimate what the penalty might be if they apply to you. HMRC Penalty Calculator.

If you are submitting your tax return for the first time for the 2015/16 tax year, you will need to register for Self Assessment Online. You can do this at this link: Register to Submit Tax Return. Be sure to do so in good time, in case you encounter a problem registering.

Alternatively, you can now also submit your Self Assessment tax return via the Personal Tax Account service. It only takes five minutes to sign up for an account here: Register for Personal Tax Account. Also see my previous article on the Personal Tax Account here for more information, including a guide for registration: Personal Tax Account - Register Now!

Duplicate Statements for Investments

If you would like a duplicate copy of any investment income or Capital Gains statements for any of the investments we manage on your behalf, please Contact Us.


The penalties for late filing and tax payment can soon mount up, so remember to submit your return in good time. If you need assistance please do get in touch and we will either assist you if we are able, or otherwise we can put you in touch with an accountant to advise you further if necessary.

Important Note

This article is intended for information purposes only and should not be considered to be a recommendation. This article is based on our understanding of current and draft pension and tax rules as at the date of this article. Please note that tax and pension rules are subject to change; if you are at all uncertain about the suitability of any option for your circumstances we strongly suggest you seek regulated personal financial advice. You should not take action solely on the basis of this article without seeking advice specific to your circumstances. Please get in touch to find out more.

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