### Tax rises and the Hissing Index

Last night's Wyman debate arranged by the ICAEW Tax Faculty was conducted in very good humour. The motion was "Assuming taxes rise which goose should be plucked first?"

One of the speakers, Trevor Evans (Ex-Director Business tax HMRC), focused on what he called the Hissing Index ("HI") which he suggested was much used in the corridors of power - Treasury and HMRC. This sounded, as intended I suspect, more like something that could have been derived from the days of 'Yes Minister'.

According to Trevor: HI is derived from the formula:
V x X x AF
where:
V = Volume of hissing per goose (ie: how much of a fuss is made by those required to pay additional taxes)
X = Number of geese being plucked (ie: how big is the group of geese that will be subject to additional taxes)
AF = Amplification Factor (This being a factor of the number of connections that a goose or gaggle of geese have eg: in the press, media, on TV news - or simply through being on first name terms with a Treasury Minister!).

Trevor then proceeded to identify which propositions had a High HI and encouraged the audience to vote for his proposition which, he claimed, would have a low HI.

(Maybe you had to be there!)

* The title was derived from a famous Jean Baptise Colbert quote.

### How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

How many would you like it to be?

How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

What kind of answer did you have in mind?

How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

Hmmm....let me run a few numbers and get back to you....

How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

Two. One to change it and one to make sure it was done within budget

And lastly, my favourite:

How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

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

(This response was suggested by Adrian Higgs)

### 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.

4. You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.

5. You charge by the hour but your time can be extended.

6. You are not proud of what you do.

7. Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.

8. It's difficult to have a family.

9. You have no job satisfaction.

10. If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client.

11. You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living.

12. People ask you, "What do you do?" and you can't explain it.

13. Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate.

14. Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money.

15. Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or Jaguars.

16. Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain of it all.

17. You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth but if the client…

### Ken Dodd and the Inland Revenue

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…