Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
From 17 May 2008 letters page of the FT:
Sir, Peter Hahn suggests titles such as lordships should be offered openly for sale (Letters, May 10/11). This is a sadly regressive step that would ensure titles are allocated only to those who can afford them. These will be the same people who already receive substantial financial recognition for their labours. It would exclude equally deserving but less affluent members of society such as the proverbial postmistress.
A progressive system should be based on taxation. Acceptance of a title such as a peerage might command a 10 per cent surcharge on the higher rate of tax. Lesser honours might command a lower rate of tax. Honours would remain accessible to all in society but only funded by those who passed a certain financial threshold.
This annual “toff tax” would be a lucrative way for the state (not the party) to collect revenue to fund the political infrastructure we demand but will not fund ourselves. It will also allow those honoured to proclaim publicly their loyalty to the nation that honours them.
James Brooke Turner,
London SW2 3TA
Monday, May 19, 2008
I've just seen a copy of one of his other books (101 ways to grow your business) in which he shares a little ditty:
When accountants and solicitors charge by the hourWhilst I'm not as passionate about this as is Hugh I do know of an increasing number of firms who are 'trashing the timesheet' - at least in so far as they no longer use timesheets to determine the fees they charge.
Clients moan about fees and relationships sour
So throw away timesheets
Fix the price of all you do
Bill 'em upfront and clients'll love you!
I have included several related items on my other blog for ambitious accountants.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Any more such examples?
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Adam Broke recalls that the Chancellor's ambitions were thwarted by the inclusion in his proposals of "small minded concepts such as close companies". As a result, Adam, a newly married breadwinner, spent only milliseconds worrying whether he had chosen the wrong career.
It seems that little has changed as recent Budgets that have purported to introduce simplicity into the tax system are also bedevilled by undue complexity, oversights and 'small minded concepts'.
Adam's recollections appear in the May 2008 issue of the ICAEW Tax Faculty's Taxline publication.
Friday, May 09, 2008
The press release following the 2007 Budget which referred to ‘Tackling worklessness in London’. Whatever happened to ‘unemployment?’ Perhaps it is too redolent of the 1970s? On the current self-assessment I am asked ‘Did you receive, or do we consider you to have received, income from a trust, settlement or a deceased person’s estate?’
My response would be ‘If you don’t know whether you consider me to have received trust income, how on earth should I know?’
He said he couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. 'Why are we so critical about such U-Turns?' he asked. "The media highlighted how ill-thought out was the proposed policy change and demanded that it be withdrawn. The Chancellor appeared to listen and announced plans to mitigate the impact and compensate the 'losers'. "(Paul Merton interrupted to suggest that it's not nice to refer to the lowest paid people as 'losers'). "And then what happened? The media criticised the U-turn and slammed the Chancellor for his actions."
"I don't get it" said Byrne. "What do they want? It's as if they're saying - You idiot. What did you want to do a U-turn for? You shouldn't be listening to what people want. Much better you should stick with that awful unpopular policy."
There's more than a grain of truth in the observation I think. (NB: Probably doesn't come across well in print. You had to be there!)
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Tax doesn't have to be taxing but it will remain so as long as:
- Politicians can talk about abolishing the 10% rate but keep it in place for savings income;
- The tax credits system uses different measures of income from tax return forms;
- New rules introduced to simplify the tax system increase the quantity of tax legislation;
- HMRC focus on collecting the maximum amount of tax due under the law whereas taxpayers continue to pay the minimum amount of tax due under the law;
- There is a difference between those two figures
It's no joke but it's quite fun thinking up more examples of why tax is taxing and will remain so. Please add further examples to this posting.
Friday, May 02, 2008
5318 Trying to Sound Knowledgeable While in Meeting
5393 Covering for Incompetence of Colleague
5400 Trying to Explain things to new colleague who just doesn't get it
5482 Eating Snack
5490 Updating status on Facebook
5500 Filling Out Timesheet
5501 Inventing Timesheet Entries
5640 Miscellaneous Unproductive Complaining
6200 Using Company Resources for Personal Profit
6207 Planning a Social Event (eg: holiday, wedding, etc.)
6211 Updating CV
6221 Pretending to Work While Boss Is Watching
6238 Miscellaneous Unproductive Fantasising
6350 Playing jokes on the New Guy/Girl
7281 Extended Visit to the Loo (at least 10 minutes)
8100 Reading online blogs
8102 Laughing while reading blogs