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We like to have a little fun in the tax world, so here are some of the best and worst excuses HMRC received from people who were late sending in their tax returns. I’d like to add that none of these were successful.

  • “I’m too short to reach the post box”
  • “I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me and my third maid was very slow to learn”
  • “Our junior member of staff registered our client in self-assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses”
  • “My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type.”

As well as these unbelievable excuses, HMRC was also sent some pretty shocking expenses claims, with these taking the biscuit:

  • A carpenter claiming £900 for a 55-inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs
  • £40 on extra woolly underwear for five years
  • £756 for pet dog insurance
  • A music subscription to listen to music while working
  • A family holiday to Nigeria.