‘The dog ate my tax return’

HMRC reveals top 10 terrible excuses for not filing a tax return on time.

HMRC have revealed their latest list of the top 10 worst excuses for missing the 31 January self-assessment tax return deadline:

  • My pet dog ate my tax return…and all the reminders.
  • I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn't find a postbox or get an internet signal.
  • I fell in with the wrong crowd.
  • I've been travelling the world, trying to escape from a foreign intelligence agency.
  • Barack Obama is in charge of my finances.
  • I've been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs.
  • A work colleague borrowed my tax return, to photocopy it, and didn't give it back.
  • I live in a camper van in a supermarket car park.
  • My girlfriend's pregnant.
  • I was in Australia.

The taxman doesn’t look kindly on people who miss the filing date and, with the helplines predicted to be super busy at the end of January, we recommend you get cracking now.

Need a hand with your self-assessment tax return?

The friendly Clayton & Brewill team members are happy to help you. Call us on 0115 950 3044 or drop us an email and we’ll soon take away the self-assessment stress!

Share this post

How can we help?


Whether you are a limited company, a sole trader or partnership, Clayton & Brewill can take care of your accountancy needs, giving you valuable insight and support and leaving you free to concentrate on other areas of your business.

Corporate tax

Clayton & Brewill offers efficient and cost-effective tax advice and support for owner-managed businesses, sole traders and partnerships.

Personal tax

Specialist, personal advice on income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.


Clayton & Brewill can help you comply with your statutory audit requirements as well as working with you to use the annual audit to identify areas for improvement and growth.