The New Year has arrived, which means that, in addition to dropping some weight and working out, you should start to think about filing tax returns.

Yes, the deadline isn’t until April, but you don’t want to be one of those last-minute people racing to the mailbox in your PJs before midnight to send it, do you? Do you?

Well, in Britain, the deadline is the end of this month and officials have come up with a list of the most ridiculous reasons people have given for filing their taxes late.

1. My pet goldfish died.
2. I had a run-in with a cow.
3. After seeing a volcanic eruption on the news, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.
4. My wife won’t give me my mail.
5. My husband told me the deadline was March 31, and I believed him.
6. I’ve been far too busy touring the country with my one-man play.
7. My bad back means I can’t go upstairs. That’s where my tax return is.
8. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up mail when I’m on dry land.
9. Our business doesn’t really do anything.
10. I’ve been too busy submitting my clients’ tax returns.

Feel free to borrow one of them if you find yourself on the wrong side of the deadline come April. Then again, maybe you can spend that time when you should be gathering your paperwork coming up with even more ludicrous excuses.

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