I can’t file my tax return, my goldfish died!


I read an interesting article last week. The UK version of Inland Revenue released a list of the top 10 weirdest excuses taxpayers gave for filing their tax returns late…

In New Zealand we are coming up to that time of year where your 2014 tax returns must be filed. Penalties for filing your tax return late range from $50 to $500 plus additional penalties, and interest should you underpay your tax.

Have your filed your 2014 income tax returns?

The following bizarre, exotic and flimsy excuses have all been used by tardy taxpayers:

(2014 list)

  • My pet goldfish died (self-employed builder)
  • I had a run-in with a cow (Midlands farmer)
  • After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else (London woman)
  • My wife won’t give me my mail (self-employed trader)
  • My husband told me the deadline was 31 March, and I believed him (Leicester hairdresser)
  • I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play (Coventry writer)
  • My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is (a working taxi driver)
  • I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land (South East man)
  • Our business doesn’t really do anything (Kent financial services firm)
  • I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns (London accountant)

(2015 list)

  • 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.

My favourite has to be ‘I’ve been busy looking after a flock of escaped parrots and some fox cubs’ – what is yours?

This post is from Jason Lougher. Jason is a chartered accountant who moved back to the Bay of Plenty – his favourite part of the world – to work with small and medium enterprises. Jason’s passion is taxation and effective tax structuring, trust set up and intergenerational planning, Inland Revenue audits and tax disputes, and business development. Jason works closely with the other directors to combine their skill sets to achieve the best outcome for clients. Additionally Jason is on the NZICA Bay of Plenty Local Leadership Team and is a Business Mentor with Business Mentors New Zealand. Legacy Chartered Accountants has offices in Whakatane and Tauranga.