One person claimed their hamster ate their post and another tried to claim for pet food for a Shih Tzu guard dog. One person claimed their mother-in-law put a curse on them.
HMRC describes the excuses and claims as “ten of the most weird and wonderful ones we have received from customers who missed the deadline over the last ten years.”
The Top 10 most bizarre excuses and questionable expenses claims in reverse order are:
10. Caravan rental for the Easter weekend
9. I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal
8. My dog ate the post … again
7. Claiming £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days
6. My hamster ate my post
5. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land
4. A music subscription so I can listen to music while I work
3. Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’
2. A DJ was too busy with a party lifestyle – spinning the deck….in a bowls club
1. My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me
All the excuses and expenses listed above were unsuccessful, says HMRC.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC director general of customer services, said: “Each year, we try to make it as easy and simple as possible for our customers to complete their tax returns and the majority make the effort to do theirs right and on time.
“But, we still come across some unusual excuses and expenses which range from problems with a mother-in-law to yachts set on fire.
“We always offer help to those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time. It is unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims.”
HMRC says anyone having trouble with the deadline should get in touch early.
The initial penalty for missing the return deadline is a £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay. Further fines are then imposed after this period if tax returns are not filed and any tax owing is not paid.