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Doing your VAT return is like being a stripper in an empty room

Full marks to Times columnist Libby Purves for what I think is probably the best commentary on the pointless VAT rate change announced in the PBR.

Here are just a few of her choice remarks:
  • The VAT reduction is the final provocation. It is a stupid tax anyway, visibly inferior to the simple old purchase tax.
  • I am an unpaid and irritable tax collector, yet of very little help to the Exchequer. It is like being a stripper in an empty room: a terrible waste of sequins and effort.
  • But the absurd and temporary 2.5 per cent reduction puts the tin lid on it. It is the silliest gesture since Harold Wilson banged double VAT on yacht equipment to annoy Ted Heath.
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Two. One to change it and one to make sure it was done within budget

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One, but he'll have 1500 of them to do on 31st January.

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Are you a prostitute or are you an auditor?

1. You work very odd hours.

2. You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy.

3. You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money.

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7. Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.

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The comedian Ken Dodd, was prosecuted for tax evasion in 1989 as has been mentioned on this blog before, here and here. I'd love to find a clip of him talking about it in his act. For now though here are a couple of references to comments he makes about the experience.

He is known to introduce himself as a “failed accountant”. That, he explains, is simply to establish a rapport with the audience. “People today are all stressed out about home economics, and accountants are the current bogeymen. [Since when?]

Dodd is the butt of a lot of his material and repeated references are made to his love of money, his dislike of what he insists on calling the Inland Revenue and his past run-in with them. “They sent me a self-assessment form the other day. To me! I invented self-assessment.”

During the trial it was revealed that Dodd had very little money in his bank account. He did however have £336,000 in cash stashed in suitcases in his attic. When asked by the judge, "What does a…