Friday, January 23, 2015

A good deal?

I got a good deal the other day by paying just £12 for two copies of Accountancy for Dummies. They're normally £4.99 each.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Being a good accountant takes 5% talent and...

Being a good accountant takes 5% talent...

           ... 13% maths and 81% spotting what's been missed

            ... 10% attitude and 90% knowing what's right and what's wrong

            ... and 95% avoiding distraction on the internet












Friday, January 09, 2015

The accountant (actor) at number 39 on the Top 50 financial power list

This year's tongue in cheek entry on Accountancy Age's annual Top 50 Financial power list 2015:
39 (New Entry) Ben Affleck, actor Can Ben Affleck succeed where Jason Donovan failed? The public perception of an a-typical accountant looks set to get a serious make-over with the latex-clad Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice thespian reputedly signing up for the lead in a film called...you guessed it...The Accountant.  
The broad concept of the movie is about a man who juggles the twin perils of GAAP by day, and the less taxing demands of being a high-class assassin by night. So can Affleck and screenwriter Bill Dubuque paint the profession in a sophisticated light akin to that of the legal profession? Previous attempts, including an accounting drama starring the aforementioned Donovan, were met with limited success.
Jason's drama featured on this fun blog four years ago. I'm also reminded of KPMG's efforts, back in 1997, to have the lead characters in dramatic films be accountants rather than lawyers.

Friday, December 26, 2014

An accountant goes to the doctor......

An accountant knocks on the door of his doctor's surgery and walks in.
"Hello, doctor. Please help. I just don't know what's wrong with me. Goodbye." With that he turns around and walks out.

30 seconds later he is back. "Hello again, doctor. Please help. I just don't know what's wrong with me."

The Doctor looks up from his desk and says:
"Mmm. I think you have a serious case of double entry."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tax issues for Santa to ponder

Santa's VAT adviser, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she has been pondering some key issues:

First things first, is Santa a taxable person? He is only active once a year (though it is a busy night and he visits a lot of countries!). Also his activity is carried out very regularly every year (he never misses). But is he carrying out an economic activity? Is he giving the presents away or are the mince pies and brandy left out for him (and the carrots for the reindeer) non monetary consideration (not to mention the requirement that the children have to have been good – which is surely priceless).

Is the letter to Santa a contract and what happens if one party (the child) fails to meet its part of the bargain (the aforementioned ‘being good’ bit). If the gifts left for each child in a household cost less than £50 and there is no consideration provided, can Santa claim the input tax on these without there being an output tax liability?

How should he value the work of the elves in the workshop that produce the gifts – and are they his employees or are they self-employed? There is no doubt a range of other issues to consider as regards Santa’s direct tax affairs and how he can afford to carry on year after year with no money coming in (unless you count the fees for all those shopping centre stints – but is that really him??).

Is Santa’s sleigh an airplane used by an airline operating for reward chiefly on international routes? Can the reindeer food be zero rated because the reindeer are working animals? He is supplying delivered wrapped goods, which all start their journey at the North Pole, (non EU) and don’t go through Customs, so what is the place of supply, and is he making a single supply or is the wrapping separate?

If it is separate how do you apportion the non monetary consideration (assuming there is any)?

 Lots to think about!

[A version of this letter has appeared elsewhere beforehand but I cannot trace the original]

Friday, October 31, 2014

Scary Tax Movies

Many thanks to @Freeagent for prompting twitter users to suggest #ScaryTaxMovies this Halloween.

I've picked some of the best suggestions:
Tax Return of the Living Dead - +PracticeWEB Ltd
Silence of the ledgers - +slackbladder35
Taxes Chainsaw Massacre - +Kelly Forbes
Friday 31st January and Rosemary's Bookkeeper - +cashprotect
An American Multinational in London - +Adrian Pearson
The Taxorcist - +FreeAgent
Auditor Dogs - +AccountingWEB
I Know What You Earnt Last Summer - +Milo McLaughlin
Star Wars VI: Tax Return of the Jedi - @mrderekrussell
A VAT Inspector Calls - +Roan Lavery
28 days overdue - @mattbrailsford
Account Dracular and VATMAN Returns @twithomas
Tax InSpectre Gadget - +OwenOhReally 

And my own offerings:
VATman begins
Psycho tax inspector
Young VATenstein
Phantom of the Tax Office
Little shop of HMRC
The Fair Tax Project