Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
But this blog is a place for laughs so here is a selection of some of the more amusing letters taken from The Telegraph's letter pages:
Cabinet members may not know how to complete a self-assessment tax form but they certainly know how to complete an expenses claim
- Pat Lamb, Exeter
Alistair Darling needs an accountant to ensure he pays the correct tax. Doesn't he know HMRC will do the calculation free of charge if the form is submitted by October 31?
- Dr Malclom Parsloe, Battle, East Sussex
John Wick, the whistleblower, should henceforth be known as 'Deep Moat'
- Robert Humm, Stamford. Lincolnshire
The word 'professional' claimed by some politicians is, after all, only a synonym for 'mercenary'
- Rev Philip Foster. Hemmingford Abbots, Cambridgeshire
If Alistair Darling and his colleagues are unable to complete their tax returns without employing professional help, then either the tax returns are too complicated or Cabinet members are too simple.
- Trevor Mudd, Addlestone, Surrey
If Mr Darling did his own tax return he might appreciate what a shambolic system he presides over.
- Stuart Derwent, Brighton, East Sussex
How is it that Mr Darling, whose income must be twice mine, only pays his accountant half what I have to?
- A R Fontes, Wrexham, Clwyd
Having learned that they employ accountants to help them complete their tax returns, I suppose the next thing we shall learn is that Cabinet ministers claim back their tax bill on expenses. Or haven't they thought of that wheeze?
- Roger Hoare, Salisbury, Wiltshire
When the bin tax is introduced will MPs be able to claim it on expenses too?
- David Monk, Rainford, Merseyside
Some years ago I had a bumper stick on my car which read "Don't steal - the Government hates competition". Was I before my time?
- Andy Hawkins, Brie-sous-Mortagne, France
I note that MPs caught out in the investigation of their allowances, and who will be spending more time with their families following the next election, will be eligible for £37,281 as a "winding up allowance". Is this a pun?
- Ruth Rees, Cowbridge, South Glamorgan
I hope the man advising so many ministers on tax has liability insurance.
- Mac Fearnehough, Dronfield, Derbyshire
Surely, it is a historic moment when the taxman becomes more popular than the politician.
- Juliet Henderson, South Warnborough, Hampshire
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
1. Find a weird hand signal that means either, “Live long and prosper,” or “My hand feels cramped from typing all these numbers into an Excel spreadsheet.”
2. Take the firm up to warp factor five, or the speed you generally go about a week before January 31.
3. Raise the deflector shields, especially if HMRC contacts your clients about an investigation.
4. Try the Vulcan mind meld when you can’t understand what your client is trying to tell you about why his children should be counted as a business expense.
5. Appoint a skilled liaison to deal with the Romulans, also known as HMRC.
6. Have Scotty beam you up to the bridge whenever your flight gets delayed and you need to get back to the office right away.
7. Say, “That’s highly illogical,” whenever an inspector challenges one of your client’s deductions.
8. Establish a work/life balance between fighting aliens and making out with scantily clad Venusians.
9. Set your phaser gun on stun when someone complains too much about getting a low tax refund.10. Tell the managing partner, “I canna do it, Captain, I can’t defy the laws of physics,” if he asks you to prepare more than five tax returns a day.
With due credit to Michael Cohn, Editor-in-Chief, WebCPA (I've simply Anglicised his wonderful list)
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
She explained that earlier in the day she had been sitting in her room running through her script and practicing (good move). When room service arrived she had been repeating all of the award titles and was embarrassed to realise that some sounded as though she wasn't saying 'tax', but 'sex'.
Her timing was perfect later as she paused momentarily when announcing certain awards. Some of the best were:
- Best international ...tax team = Best international sex team
- Best general ...tax team = Best general sex team
- Best in house ....tax team = Best in house sex team
- Best ...tax investigations team = Best sex investigations team
- Best 'big four' ...tax team = Best Big four sex team
- Sex writer of the year and
- Sex personality of the year
Thursday, May 21, 2009
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."This was apparently written in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789, which was re-printed in The Works of Benjamin Franklin, 1817.
Before that however Daniel Defoe used a similar phrase in The Political History of the Devil, 1726:
"Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed."And much more recently Margaret Mitchell says the following in her book Gone With the Wind, 1936:
"Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them."
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Click his name to hear him perform this in the style of the Beatles.
Let me tell you how it will be
With expenses claims on what seems right to me
Paid by the taxpayer! Yeah by the taxpayer!
I'll furnish my second home for free
Cos after all I'm your MP
And you're the taxpayer! Yeah you're the taxpayer
If I have a castle you'll pay for my moat
If I fancy sailing you'll pay for my boat
If you question me I'll sit and gloat
I'll claim every penny, every shilling and groat
From you the taxpayer!
Don't ask me if it's within the rules (Ah ah Mr Cameron)
For years we've treated you all as fools (Ah ah Mr Brown)
And you're the taxpayer!Yeah you're the taxpayer!
My advice to those who moan
Repay the mortgage on my non-existent loan
And you're the taxpayer! Yeah you're the taxpayer!
And you're working for no-one but me
(I think George would have appreciated the sentiment)
With due credit and thanks to Ayd Instone for permission to post this here.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Apparently he considered it likely that at some stage in the future he would father children who would be illegitimate and he considered tax planning for this eventuality to be a priority!
What's the strangest form of tax planning you've ever considered?
Thursday, May 14, 2009
And of my 3 blogs this was the only one on which I could even vaguely justify posting this insightful comment by Mark Thomas in the Guardian:
When benefit cheats get caught working and signing on, they get punished. They don't form a committee made up of other benefit claimants to debate how they might make new rules to prevent themselves from doing it again. They certainly don't appear on BBC News barking that "they work extremely hard and made a simple mistake."
Nor can an exposed tax dodger offer to pay back money because they are "concerned about how it looks to the outside world", and then walk away with no repercussion.
It's just a suggestion I spotted recently and noted that it's appeared in various places. Seemed a worthy contender for inclusion on this blog.
How would you feel if HMRC adopted this then?
"We've got what it takes to take what you've got"(The draft Charter already states that they intend to "relentlessly pursue those who bend or break the rules". I've already shared my views about this on the Tax Buzz blog in a piece titled: How far can you bend the rules?)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea [going offshore obviously]
Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
The big clue is in that penultimate line. Leaving the UK for a year and a day is the minimum period of absence required to ensure that they secured non-resident status under the rules then in place.
The above analysis was offered by Andrew Hubbard, newly installed President of CIOT, after the Chartered Tax Advisers' address last night on the anniversary of Edward Lear's birthday.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Suggestions to date include:
- BaNal article
- Boring Note
- Barmy Notice
- Bloody Nuisance
Thursday, May 07, 2009
This is one of the highlights from a survey published a few years back. I came across it again recently and thought it worthy of recording on this blog for posterity.
The image of the dull, grey accountant was shattered by a survey in 2002 that claimed to have evidence that they are more interesting and adventurous than other people.
According to the Daily Telegraph's report, Accountants are more likely to socialise, they watch less television and enjoy more sex. This was the conclusion of a "monotony monitor" aimed at exposing those whose life was more rut race than rat race. Apparently accountants watched less than an hour's television in two weeks. They had sex an average of six times in a fortnight, compared with the average three, and most played some kind of sport.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I once got a letter from the Inland Revenue asking me what my address was
called the inland revenue, 10 minutes of recorded announcements how I shouldn't call them because they have a website
Having to speak to Inland Revenue today.... I will be washing my mouth out with tepid salt water immediately afterwards to avoid infection.
Just cost Revenue & Customs £45k by signing 600 Inland Revenue cheques for clients in time to get their £75 incentive. Satisfying work.
Inland Revenue - stop telling me to go to your website, I went there, it sucked and didn't tell me anything I needed to know, answer my call!
cold sweat. If one just gives ALL income straight to the Inland revenue when getting payed maybe then we'll be off the hook
Wondering when, sweet lord, just when will the UK's inland revenue stop asking me for a tax return? Been gone from the UK for years now...
I heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago that HMRC routinely ignore letters, fail to log calls etc. So I'm going to ignore them.
If you're curious about twitter - here's my take.
Friday, May 01, 2009
Hug your Accountant and see your business soarMy PR lady tells me that International Hug Week was started in Burnley, England by Debra Brown in 2008. The London Evening Standard is amongst those that have recognised it this year.
Perhaps giving your Accountant a hug during 'International Hug Week' may not be the best way to gain business referrals, but the return of a popular business seminar could show you exactly how to build successful relationships with local accountants that could generate literally hundreds of referrals.