"My tax return was on my yacht ... which caught fire" - just one of the dozens of unusual excuses the British government’s tax collector said it receives each year from customers who fail to complete their returns on time.
"A wasp in my car caused me to have an accident and my tax return, which was inside, was destroyed," was another, while several blamed children, partners or colleagues for inadvertently destroying their forms.
"It’s easy to see that some excuses for not completing a tax return on time can be more questionable than others," said Ruth Owen, HMRC Director General of Customer Services.
"But there will always be help and support available for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time," she added in a statement.
Generally, taxpayers who self-assess must meet a deadline on Jan. 31 each year to complete their forms and pay outstanding sums.
"My wife helps me with my tax return, but she had a headache for ten days" was one unsuccessful appeal against the HMRC’s penalty for late filing, which starts at 100 pounds. （Reuters）
catch fire：片語動詞，指著火、燃燒。例句：The campaign began to catch fire.（這場運動開始沸騰了。）
inadvertently：副詞，指不經意地。例句：She inadvertently hurt his feeling.（她無意間傷了他的感情。）
outstanding：形容詞，傑出的、顯著的、（債務）未付的、（問題）未解決的。例句：Talks will resume next month to discuss the outstanding issues.（下月將恢復談判，討論尚未解決的問題。）