Most people complete their tax returns honestly and on time but every year HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receives some outlandish excuses.

Some of the most bizarre excuses HMRC received from customers who missed the Self Assessment deadline include being too short to reach the post-box and having fingers too cold to type.

Here are some of the strangest from the past year:

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

2. I’m too short to reach the post box

3. I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn

4. Our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses

5. My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type

All were unsuccessful. The deadline for sending 2017-18 Self Assessment tax returns is January 31.