Friday, February 17, 2017

Accounting films #MakeAfilmAccounting

Following the hashtag #MakeAfilmAccounting on twitter revealed the following fun suggestions:

A long time ago in an accountant’s office far, far away…was the movie: The Annual Return of the Jedi

Mad Tax

The classic accounting tale of a man falsely imprisoned – The Accountant of Monte Cristo

 Up close and personal tax

The Shawshank Tax Redemption

 In a world where everyone is an accountant, you should watch the 50's tax classic, Rebel Without a Clause

Vatman returns

 Love Actuarilly

 Saving Mr Bankrupt

Friday, February 10, 2017

Daft letters to the taxman

The following extracts from letters received by the taxman were first published in Taxation magazine in 1958*
"I received your income tax form, but had to go into hospital an hour afterwards"
"I have not been living with my husband for several years, and have much pleasure in enclosing his last will and testament"
"Please correct this assessment. I have not worked for the past 3 months, as I have broken my leg. Hoping you will do the same."
"My husband is in HM Forces. I have no children. Trusting it will have your attention."
"Please send me a claim form, as I have had a baby. I had one before, but it got dirty and I burnt it."
"My husband died on 3 November. is there any post-war credit due, as I understand that a person has to die before receiving any benefit?"
"I cannot pay the full amount at the moment as my husband is in hospital. As soon as I can I will send you the remains."
"I have to inform you that my mother in law passed away after receiving your form on 22 November. Thanking you."
"Thank you for explaining my income tax liability. You have done it so clearly that I almost understand it."
*These extracts from letters were apparently referenced in a speech given by a retired Inspector of Taxes, Mr AEA Elston, while reminiscing at a meeting of the Oldham Rotary Club, and reported in the Oldham Evening Chronicle. The 1958 report in Taxation magazine was republished in December 1996.

Who Says Accountants Are Boring? Not WithumSmith+Brown

Friday, February 03, 2017

Crazy business expense claims

HMRC has published a list of what they claim to be the most outlandish expenses that customers tried to offset against business profits:
  1. Holiday flights to the Caribbean
  2. Luxury watches as Christmas gifts for staff - from a company with no employees
  3. International flights for dental treatment ahead of business meetings
  4. Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’
  5. Armani jeans as protective clothing for painter and decorator
  6. Cost of regular Friday night ‘bonding sessions’ - running into thousands of pounds.
  7. Underwear - for personal use
  8. A garden shed for private use - plus the costs of the space it takes up in the garden
  9. Betting slips
  10. Caravan rental for the Easter weekend.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The farmer's accountant - in rhyme

He sits at his desk
With his horn-rimmed specs
Doing sums on a calculator
And come rain or shine
You know bloody fine
There's a bill to pay sooner or later.
He adds and subtracts
And works out your tax
Messing about with the figures.
You've done fairly well
So how in the hell
Is that overdraft still gettin' bigger?
Those accounts are too much
It's all double dutch
So you 'phone up for him to explain.
But his office PA says 'haven't you heard'
He's away in his office in Spain."

- Henry Brewis in the Farming Press. As reported in 'The Bottom line' by Vaines and Nuttall

Friday, January 20, 2017

Money, money, money - quotes

"There's money. And then there's MY money"
- Anonymous client to accountant about funding a forthcoming tax bill

"Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons"
- Woody Allen

"I can't afford to die; I'd lose too much money"
- George Burns

"One of the mysteries of human conduct is why adult men and women are ready to sign documents they have not read, at the behest of salesmen they don't know, binding them to pay for articles they do not want, with money they do not have."
- Gerald Hurst,  

"Nothing is as irritating as the fellow who chats pleasantly to you while he's overcharging you."
- Kin Hubbard

"I haven't reported my missing credit card to the police because whoever stole it is spending less than my wife."
- Ilie Nastase

Friday, January 13, 2017

Other income - how to explain this one?

Back in the day when we completed tax returns by hand, an inspector of taxes noted an unusual entry for 'other income' on a tax return she was examining.

In the space to explain a zero figure the taxpayer had written "F. All."

The Inspector wrote to the taxpayer suggesting that this was not appropriate language to use on what was a legal document.

The taxpayer responded by explaining that the Inspector had misunderstood. "I could not fit the words "Family Allowance' in the limited space available."

The Inspector wrote back pointing out that there was no requirement to enter details of Family Allowance on tax returns. The taxpayer then responded, that as regards his other income, this really was F*** All!"