Goats Ate My Accounts

Steve Maggs

by Steve Maggs, Tax Partner

For more information on how RRL can help with your accounts, please contact Partner Nick Skerratt, on 01872 276116 / 01736 339322 or nick.skerratt@rrlcornwall.co.uk.

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Each year, HMRC receive a number of dubious and unusual reasons as to why companies have failed to file their accounts on time.

Some of the more outrageous reasons given to the taxman for late filing this year include:

  • “goats ate my accounts”
  • “I found my wife in the bath with my accountant”
  • “pirates stole my accounts”
  • “we delivered the accounts to the betting office next door to Companies House”
  • “a volcano erupted and prevented me from filing”
  • “slugs ate my accounts”
  • “it was Valentine’s Day”
  • “my company was more successful than I thought it would be, so I was too busy to file”

As you can imagine, none of these reasons were upheld by HMRC as reasonable excuses for late filing, and instead received a penalty.

HMRC’s Senior Enforcement Manager, Nick Parker, highlighted the importance of filing your accounts on time:

“Companies and directors must be aware of their responsibility to file accounts with Companies House. Companies can sign up to receive e-mail reminders, which can be sent to up to four e-mail addresses.

“There will always be unforeseen events that mean a company is unable to file accounts on time. In exceptional circumstances, companies can request an extension to the filing deadline, however these requests must be received before the filing deadline.

“Most companies can file accounts electronically – it’s faster and easier. The Companies House WebFiling service has in-built checks to ensure that all the relevant information is provided before a customer can submit. It also provides filers with automatic e-mail confirmation that accounts have been received and once they have been accepted for filing.”

While we can’t help you fend off any rogue goats who see a set of company accounts as a nice after dinner treat, if you need help with your company accounts, we can take away the stress and worry, and deal with HMRC and Companies House on your behalf.


This publication has been prepared by Robinson Reed Layton LLP. It is to be treated as a general guide only and is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law or represent specific tax advice. No liability is accepted for the opinions it contains, or for any errors or omissions. All rights reserved.