Friday, September 26, 2014

'Born to the m-i-i-i-i-i-ld' (To the tune of Steppenwolf's 'Born to be Wild')

Calculator running
Totalling invoices
Looking at debentures
And all other finance choices

Yeah darling, gonna make it add up
Put the world in a big spreadsheet
Do all of my sums at once and
Leave it really neat

Some find accounts frightnin’
Leaves them full of wonder
All of these expenses
Just what heading are they under?

Yeah darling, gonna make it add up
Put the world in a big spreadsheet
Do all of my sums at once and
Leave it really neat

All prop-er-ly filed
I was born, born to be mild
Tax returns so sly
I make the taxman cry

Born to be mi-i-i-ild

Born to be mi-i-i-ild

Calculator running
Totalling invoices
Looking at debentures
And all other finance choices

Yeah darling, gonna make it add up
Put the world in a big spreadsheet
Do all of my sums at once and
Leave it really neat

All properly filed
I was born, born to be mild
Tax returns so sly
I make the taxman cry

Born to be mi-i-i-ild


Born to be mi-i-i-ild

Words by accountant and poet: Stephen Brown Audio version can be heard here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's official: HMRC writes "ridiculous" "nonsense"

Given this is a fun blog it's not usual for me to reference the decision in a tax tribunal. But it was impossible to resist when I heard about what the tribunal said.

Mr South was appealing against a late filing penalty in respect of his tax return for 2012/13.  HMRC claimed to have sent him a notice requiring him to file the return in question. The computer then sent an automatic penalty which was what alerted Mr South to the need to file the return.

He was reluctant to pay the late filing penalty as he had not received a 'notice to file' and had not been required to file returns every year in the recent past. 

Mr South then received a rejection of his appeal sent by an official from HMRC who said: 
“On reviewing I can see that no evidence to date has been received confirming that you did not receive a tax return or notice to file.”
In reaching their decision that Mr South did NOT need to pay the penalty the Tribunal said:
The result of [Mr South's] appeal is a piece of nonsense and shows that the appeal was not properly considered by HMRC. It is ridiculous to expect the appellant to produce evidence to show he did not receive the tax return or notice to file. 
Steven Maurice South vs HMRC -12 August 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

An accountant with a STANDOUT way of describing himself

The way Mark Asquith, Managing Director of Asquith & Co, describes himself, on the meet the team page of his website, certainly makes him stand out. I'm referring especially to the table beneath the more conventional opening paras:
I have been working in accountancy since 1982 having started work as a spotty trainee on leaving school. Asquith & Co became a reality in 2001 although I had previously hankered after being self-employed. 
I love helping clients to keep just on the right side of the taxman while, hopefully, having a few laughs on the way - this is not easy but I do try.
                   Specialist subject:     Saving you money
                   Likes:                        Saving you money
                   Dislikes:                    Not saving you money 
                   Favourite colour:       Black... keeping you in it
                   Favourite food:         Roast taxman 
                   Favourite place:       Judo mat
                   Currently drives:       The taxman crazy
 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tax flags

A British guy was chatting with his American friend and was jokingly explaining about the red, white and blue in our National flag.

"Our flag symbolises our taxes," he said. "We get red when we talk about them, white when we get our tax bill, and blue after we pay them."

"That's the same with us," the American said, "only we see stars, too."

Friday, August 22, 2014

When a young accountant bought a donkey

Many years ago a young accountant, Warren, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for £200.

The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. When he drove up the farmer said: "Sorry son, but I have some bad news. The donkey died."
Warren replied, "Well then, just give me my money back." The farmer said, "Can't do that. I've gone and spent it already." Warren said, "OK, then just unload the donkey."

The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?" Warren replied: "I'm going to raffle him off." Farmer: "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!" Warren was insistent: "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he is dead."

A month later the farmer met up with Warren and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?" 

Warren replied: "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at £2 a piece and made a profit of £800."

The farmer was astonished: "Didn't anyone complain?"

Warren replied: "Just the guy who won. So I gave him his £2 back."

Rumour has it that some years later Warren returned to the City and joined one of the largest firms of accountants, where he eventually became senior partner.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Very thick skinned accountant wanted by boss of Ryanair

I was amused by this headline in The Times: Wanted by Ryanair: accountant, very thick-skinned.
Rarely does an accountancy job qualify as a hazardous posting in a hostile environment. However, there is a vacancy for a personal aide to the notoriously volatile boss of Ryanair.
The Irish airline is advertising for an “assistant to Ryanair’s CEO”, Michael O’Leary, stipulating an “ambitious qualified accountant” able to work in a “demanding, challenging and interesting role”.

Good luck if this appeals and you get the job!