IF YOU expect to run into difficulties paying your tax bill this year, don't rely on your bad back or the death of your pet goldfish to get you off the hook with the taxman. These are among the oddest excuses given in Britain for sending a late return, according to the British tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
A working taxi driver said he filed late because a bad back stopped him from getting upstairs -- to where his tax return was. A self-employed builder said his pet goldfish had died.
A farmer blamed his tardy return on a run-in with a cow, while another man said he hadn't got around to paying his tax -- because he was on an around-the-world cruise.
The excuses didn't wash with HMRC.
Neither are they likely to do so with our own Revenue Commissioners, who could hit you with a penalty of between five and 10 per cent of the amount of tax owed if you're late filing your return.