Friday, March 24, 2017

How often do HMRC get messages like this?

Message apparently left on local HMRC office answerphone:

"Hello - there's a minicab company operating from Ottingham Road, Pinner that has loads of unroadworthy cabs. You should take a look"

Doh! HMRC is the Inspector of Taxes NOT Taxis !

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fifty ways to please the taxman

Accountant Nigel Hughes has crafted this topical variation on the Paul Simon classic. It's a fun ditty in itself and even cleverer if you can recall the original tune as you read it!

Your problem is all inside your head she said to me
The answer is easy if you do it digitally
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be 50 ways to please the taxman

She said I hate to see you blundering in this fog
Tax really doesn’t need to be such a slog
I’d like to end your love affair with analogue
There must be fifty ways to please the taxman

Fifty ways to please the taxman

Just get on the web Fred
Click on your mouse Klaus
Get up in the cloud Howard
Just zap it to me
This is the key, Lee
You don't need double entry
Do it on line Brian
And set yourself free
It's a new day Ray
Just think what you'll save Dave
Take a quick pic Rick
And listen to me
You'll never believe Steve
What you can do if you trust me
Just take a quick snap Jack
And set yourself free
She said paper records are really such a drag
In cardboard boxes or a Tesco carrier bag
I said I appreciate that but don't you think some clients might just gag

On the 50 ways

She said I think you should just leave it all to me
I know very soon, you’ll fall in love with MTD
And then she kissed me and I realised I could charge a quarterly fee
There must be 50 ways to please the taxman


Friday, March 10, 2017

Was this accountant really a coward?

An accountant is sitting alone in a country pub sipping a beer and reviewing some accounts which he has out on the table in front of him.

A bunch of bikers roar up to the pub and when then go inside they immediately begin harassing the accountant. He tries to ignore them as they insult him and make fun of his glasses, the accounts and the fact that he isn't responding to their taunts.

The accountant continues to ignore the bikers who then begin poking at him and getting physical. One of the bikers pours beer on his head. He does nothing. Another pokes him with a pool stick. He does nothing. Another sweeps his accounts off the table onto the floor and stamps all over them covering the papers in mud and grime. Still he does nothing.

Eventually the accountant pays for his drinks and leaves the bar.

One of the bikers turns to the bartender and says, "Not much of a man, was he?" sneering at the cowardice of the accountant who did not defend himself against a bunch of guys who outnumbered him and were bigger than him.

And the bartender turns to the biker and says, "He's not much of a driver, either. He just rode over all of your bikes."

Friday, March 03, 2017

Why would the taxman believe this explanation?

During a tax investigation an inspector from HMRC asks the taxpayer how he managed to afford such a luxurious holiday villa with such little income.  The taxpayer responded with this story:
"While out fishing last summer, I caught a large golden fish. When I took it off the hook, the fish opened its mouth and said that he was a magical fish. This magical fish promised me that if I threw him back into the sea he would reward me with the most luxurious villa I had ever seen. After thinking about it for a moment, I said "OK" and threw the magic fish back into the sea. When I walked back up from the sea I could see the villa, just as the fish had promised."
The Inspector laughed and asked how the taxpayer expected to prove such an unbelievable story?

The taxpayer said "Well, you can see the villa, can't you?"

Friday, February 24, 2017

Bob Newhart's quotes about accounting

American funny man Bob Newhart originally trained to be an accountant.

He explains that when attempting reconciliations he reckoned that:
"as long as you got within two or three bucks of it, you were all right. But that didn’t catch on … At the end of the day I had to balance the petty cash with the slips—every time you give out money you had to get a slip. It had to balance. Well, I’d be there for three or four hours tying to figure out where the last dollar or dime went to. So finally I’d just take it out of my pocket and I’d put it in. If there were two dollars leftover, I’d take it out … And they told me you can’t do that. You gotta find it. I said, “you’re paying me five dollars an hour to find two cents—it doesn’t make sense.” So I wasn’t a very good accountant."
His 1988 biography quotes Newhart as saying that if he hadn’t taken a gamble with comedy he would still be an accountant:
“Keep in mind, when I started in the late fifties, I didn’t say to myself, ‘Oh, here’s a great void to fill—I’ll be a balding ex-accountant who specializes in low-key humor.’ That’s simply what I was and that’s the direction my mind always went in, so it was natural for me to be that way.” 
Other accountancy related quotes attributable to Bob include:
I worked in accounting for two and a half years, realized that wasn't what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, and decided I was just going to give comedy a try. 
Probably the best advice I ever got in my life was from the head of the accounting department, Mr. Hutchinson, I believe at the Glidden Company in Chicago, and he told me, 'You really aren't cut out for accounting. 
I've been told to speed up my delivery when I perform. But if I lose the stammer, I'm just another slightly amusing accountant. 
The truth is, I look like an accountant, which was my trouble. I looked the part of an accountant, so I’d get hired as an accountant even though I got my degree in management.”

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
@sageuk

Mad Tax
@Muffhouse

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

 Up close and personal tax
@mrjoemcfadden

The Shawshank Tax Redemption
@sageuk

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

Vatman returns
@bookmarklee

 Love Actuarilly
@sageuk

 Saving Mr Bankrupt
 @EarlGreyDecaf

The Accountant of Monte Cristo
@sageNAmerica

Tax Driver
@sageNAmerica

Raiders of the profit and loss ark
@sageNAmerica

Cashablanca
@sageNAmerica

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.