Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Details, details, details

Once upon a time there was a shepherd looking after his sheep on the side of a deserted road. Suddenly a brand new Porsche screeches to a halt. The driver, a man dressed in an Armani suit, Cerutti shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, TAG-Heuer wrist-watch, and a Pierre Cardin tie gets out and asks the shepherd, "If I can tell you how many sheep you have, will you give me one of them?"

The shepherd looks at the young man, then looks at the large flock of grazing sheep and replies, "Okay." The young man parks the car, connects his laptop to the mobile-fax, enters a NASA Website, scans the ground using his GPS, opens a database and 60 Excel tables filled with algorithms and pivot tables. He then prints out a 150-page report on his high-tech mini-printer, turns to the shepherd and says, "You have exactly 1,586 sheep."

The shepherd cheers, "That's correct, you can have your sheep." The
young man takes an animal and puts it in the back of his Porsche. The shepherd looks at him and asks, "If I guess your profession, will you return my animal to me?" The young man answers, "Yes,why not?"

The shepherd says, "You are an auditor."

"How did you know?" asks the young man.

"Very simple," answers the shepherd. "Firstly, you came here without being wanted. Secondly, you charged me a fee to tell me something I already knew, and thirdly, you don't understand anything about my business..."

" can I have my dog back?"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Poem: Got some cash that you're scared to flash?

Got some cash
that you're scared to flash?
It's hidden offshore in a mighty stash
and now you can't get to it,
because of the ash.

Think of declaring it?
It's not all that rash
It will save you from a nasty
Inland Revenue clash!

Taken from a newspaper advert placed recently by Accountants Cameron Baum.
We'll let them off the out of date reference to Inland Revenue as presumably HMRC would have prevented the poem from scanning!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who knows where Dr Who is domiciled?

"I still think we need an episode where Doctor Who sorts out his tax affairs; we still have had no explanation of his means of support and I would imagine that HMRC would be very keen to get their hands on a completed statement of assets for a start.

Sight of his completed DOM1 form would also be interesting, and it’s no good Matt Smith arguing that the department doesn’t issue them anymore, he should have completed one when he was in his original William Hartnell guise.

I’m just trying to figure out whether he would be entitled to the age allowance or not, the good doctor seems to be getting younger (bit like policemen now I think of it and now I think of it are the two somehow connected, it's a police box after all)."

- Richard Curtis on the Taxation blog.

Edit - Peter Martin has since suggested that at least we now know what TARDIS stands for: Tax Avoidance - Residence & Domicile Issues Shafted!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Sex of a Hippopotamus - History of Taxes and Accounting

I don't very often reference books on this blog. The title of this one intrigued me: The Sex of a Hippopotamus: A Unique History of Taxes and Accounting

Apparently this US published book:
"weaves entertaining and educational stories culled from tax accounting since biblical times. It presents the never-before-told story of how American and world history have been profoundly influenced by taxes. Unique, quirky, interlaced with personal accounts, and always enlightening, these amazing tax stories have involved some of our best- known leaders and celebrities."
The book contains discussions about tax songs and videos, many of which have appeared on this blog. It also includes lesser know tax related stories including:
Oh, and it references accounting and pop culture myths such as the long hours (“in every 24 hours, there are three perfectly good eight-hour chargeable days”),

Friday, April 09, 2010

"How to Dodge the Taxman and Not Get Burned"

Apparently reported in the May 1980 issue of American Photographer:

"One fashion photographer we consulted found it helpful, when an IRS* auditor came to call, to have several scantily clad models running about the studio to facilitate ordinary, reasonable and clear thinking on the part of the auditor."
* US taxman

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The tax on spontaneity we all accept

During a light-hearted discussion about the price of train tickets, Jeremy Hardy said he often doesn't know what he's doing even one day ahead, let alone where he's going to want to go on a train.

Jeremy asked why people who are more prepared than him, and book train tickets in advance, pay less for their train tickets.

David Mitchell interpreted this as a complaint about what could be described as a tax on spontaneity.

From 6 November 2009 episode of the News Quiz on Radio 4

The journalist, the engineer, the lawyer and the accountant

A businessman was interviewing applicants for the position of Divisional Manager. He devised a simple test to select the most suitable perso...