It is the time of year when thousands of people across the country are completing their tax returns.

But every year HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receive a whole host of imaginative excuses and expense claims following the January 31 deadline.

The HMRC has taken a look back at the weirdest excuses for missing the deadline and random expenses included from the last decade.

10. Caravan rental for the Easter weekend

9. I was up a mountain in Wales, and couldn’t find a post box or get an internet signal

8. My dog ate the post … again

7. Claiming £4.50 for sausage and chips meal expenses for 250 days

6. My hamster ate my post

5. I’ve been cruising round the world in my yacht, and only picking up post when I’m on dry land

4. A music subscription so I can listen to music while I work

3. Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’

2. A DJ was too busy with a party lifestyle – spinning the deck….in a bowls club

1. My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me

All these excuses were unsurprisingly unsuccessful.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC Director General of Customer Service said: “Each year, we try to make it as easy and simple as possible for our customers to complete their tax returns and the majority make the effort to do theirs right and on time.

"But, we still come across some unusual excuses and expenses which range from problems with a mother-in-law to yachts set on fire.

“We always offer help to those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time. It is unfair to the majority of honest taxpayers when others make bogus claims.

“If you think you might miss the January 31 deadline, get in touch with us now – the earlier we’re contacted, the more we can help.”

For guidance on completing your tax return click here.