Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Withheld tax awards (with good reason)

Awards not presented at Taxation's annual ceremony last week included:

Large firm
  • Longest name for a tax team in a large firm
  • Most widely dispersed tax 'team' in a large firm
Medium sized firm
  • Highest percentage lock-up in a medium sized firm
  • Most imaginative disclosure on a tax return by a medium sized firm
  • Longest meeting with HMRC in a medium sized firm
  • Most fee notes for tax advice given to one client in one year, in a medium sized firm
Small firm
  • Worst client toilet in a small firm
  • Best reasonable excuse for a late filed tax return by a small firm
Individual awards
  • Most obscure tax qualifications
  • Most pedantic tax author
  • Least qualified Treasury minister
  • Tax smartarse of the year
Any others?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hugh Dennis at the Taxation awards

At last week's Taxation annual awards ceremony, comic host Hugh Dennis told us that the LexisNexis Taxation awards was the most ridiculously named Taxation awards he had ever been to. "Indeed the only taxation awards I've ever been to".

Sticking with the company name, LexisNexis, he suggested that perhaps it was "the teletubby that time forgot, or the teletubby who went to Monaco. Lala and Po didn't want to redomicile - they just went into forestry."

Amongst his other tax related one-liners were:
"Until yesterday I thought that IHT was something women used as contraception and that a P11D was a Diesel version of a P11"

"The only thing I do know, is that, in my experience, the Married man's allowance is... about once a month"
Ok - perhaps you had to be there.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

30 years on - What would Rip Van Winkle think?

Professor John Kay presented the Chartered Tax Advisers' Address earlier this week: "30 years of tax policy".

His talk was peppered with references to what Rip Van Winkle might think about key aspects of tax policy, after being absent from the UK tax policy environment for 30 years. He concluded that many of the key issues are much the same today as they were 30 years ago.

At the end of his talk however he generated much laughter from the sizeable audience by observing that:
"The final thing that Rip Van Winkle would do is to pick up the tax code to see if it were any shorter..."

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 'Death Tax' - a film, as seen by The Now Show

During recent debates about long term funding of the elderly, the Tories denounced Labour's plans for a compulsory levy, as a 'Death Tax'.

Steve Punt has suggested this sounded like 'a slightly dull horror film', and imagines how this might play out:
Zombies have returned from the grave; only one woman can stop them: Moira Stewart is: The Zombie Hunter, in "28 per cent later".
When attacked by a Zombie Moira is heard to say: "Don't forget, pay by January 31st or...I'll chop your head off"

The Zombie continues it's attack and we hear the sound of Moira's axe fulfilling her threat. She then warns us, ominously, "And remember, tax doesn't have to be... Axing!"
Broadcast on 2 April 2010 during The Now Show on Radio 4.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The poetic audit report

We have audited the balance sheet
and say in our report
that cash is overstated,
the cashier being short.
The customer receivables
are very much past due,
and if there are some good ones
they are very, very few.

Inventories are outdated
and principally junk,
and the method of their pricing
is very largely bunk.
So, according to our figures
the undertaking's wrecked,
but, subject to these comments,
the balance sheet's correct.

Origin unknown. Reported on TaxLetter website

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

And you thought tax evasion was bad in the UK....

ATHENS — In the wealthy, northern suburbs of this city, where summer temperatures often hit the high 90s, just 324 residents checked the box on their tax returns admitting that they owned pools.

So tax investigators studied satellite photos of the area — a sprawling collection of expensive villas tucked behind tall gates — and came back with a decidedly different number: 16,974 pools.

Reported in New York Times on 1 May 2010. Full story here: Greek Wealth Is Everywhere but Tax Forms

Before PwC, before Coopers & Lybrand, there was Cooper Brothers.....

Long before the merger of Coopers and Lybrand and Price Waterhouse created the firm we now know as PwC,  Coopers was originally called Coope...