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Showing posts from October, 2008

The same professional surname

One of the senior tax partners at Horwath Clark Whitehill told me this delightful story many years ago. He was an FCA and also a Fellow of the Institute of Taxation. In those days the relevant initials were FTII as this was before the Institute became a Chartered body.

Ian had received a letter that had clearly been processed as part of a mail-merge facility (which must have been in its infancy in those days). He told me the salutation read:
Dear Mr Fcaftii - Which he pronounced: Dear Mr FeckerFootyIan noticed that the signatory had the same designatory letters so he responded by writing back:
Dear Mr Fcaftii. I see our computers think we share the same surname

Men and Women and Taxes

People who complain about their taxes can be divided into two groups - Men and Women

Indeed, tax is one of the few things men and women can agree on.

The big apology that Paul Hogan wants

Paul Hogan, who played Crocodile Dundee, has been speaking about the ongoing investigation into his tax affairs by the Australian tax authorities:

"I'm just waiting for the big apology. 'Sorry, Mr Hogan, that we branded you a fraud, international tax wizard - I like that part - and money launderer and gun runner. We sort of jumped in and we were wrong and I apologise.' That's not going to happen but it should."

- As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald

Auditors' report on Lehman Brothers' Balance sheet

There are two sides of a Balance Sheet, Left & Right Assets and Liabilities respectively On the Right side there is nothing right and on the Left side there is nothing left.Thanks to Nigel Hinton of AOH Accountants for that one. He's also pointed that:Some of you may recall the first time you heard this early in your business career and the many companies that it has applied to since and for historians you may like to know that the first time this joke was heard was in Italy shortly after Pacioli invented double entry bookkeeping at the end of the the 15th century.

Your own limited company or umbrella company?

Loved this approach to help contractors decide whether to operate their own limited company or to use an umbrella company service:

"A simple overview of your two main options. No jargon, no selling just the plain simple facts. Find out which option will best suit you. Read this before deciding."

After the overview is this brilliant (if biased) summary:

Set up your own limited company if you:
* Have had training
* Are an accountant
* Enjoy administration & paperwork
* Understand complex forms
* Have nothing better to do of an evening or weekend than complete forms
* Believe biros will never replace fountain pens

Chose the Umbrella option if you:
* Want someone else to do all your work for you

With thanks to

You know there' a credit crunch when...

... HMRC start offering a discount for cash.

(The list of examples is much longer but the others aren't rel;ated to tax or accountants so don't really fit here.)

Oh, all right then:

You know there' a credit crunch when...

....The cashpoint asks if you can spare any change.
....There's a 'buy one, get one free' offer - on banks.
....Gordon Brown has stopped chewing his nails and started sucking his thumb.
....Your builder asks to be paid in Zimbabwean dollars rather than sterling.
....Highgrove has been repossessed.
....Victoria Beckham is pictured shopping in Primark.
....Alistair Darling's eyebrows have turned white.

Please add any others you're aware of.

The graffitti wall

A wall built at a cost of £3,000 by a council so that teenagers would have somewhere to spray graffiti was daubed with its first slogan:
'I paid my tax and all I got was this lousy wall.'The 6ft high by 30ft long barrier was installed in the hope that youths would stop vandalising local property.

Jim and Debbie Ziegler

Jim Ziegler credits his wife with his success. She's an accountant. She's helped him to become a millionaire. He says he'll never leave her. Why?
"She's the only one who knows where my money is"

A tax conscience

"A tax conscience is that small inner voice you have that tells you that the Special Compliance Office will be writing to you."

- Anon

How to avoid Stamp Duty Land Tax

The Sunday Times today has a news piece about how the super rich do this. But I prefer the Nick Newman cartoon on the back of the 'News Review' section.

It shows a man standing outside his house by a 'For Sale' sign. Two potential purchasers have approached him and he says: "If you make me a good offer for the carpets and furniture, I'll throw in the house."

The wages of sin

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling.

- Paula Poundstone

Is the same true for HMRC?

Two years ago it was impossible to get through on the phone to the IRS. Now it's just hard to get through. That's progress.

- Charles Rossotti, former IRS Commissioner

Tax collectors

A man walks into a restaurant with his pet alligator under his arm.
“Do you serve tax collectors?”, he asks the barman.
“Of course”, says the barman.
“Well,” replies the man, “I’ll have a beer, and my alligator will have a tax collector.