Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2010

Split Personality

I am indebted to Taxation magazine following a case of what modesty prevents me claiming as 'great minds' thinking alike.

We've all been imagining what could happen in due course when the Office of Tax Simplification presents its first report.....

Instead of getting into my own Tardis, I will simply report on extracts of the outcome that Taxation have anticiapted
Tax News: 10 October 2010 The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) today issued its first report, on the simplification of small business taxation.The OTS tax director John Whiting said that the timetable for producing the report had been tight but he thought they had done a good job.The reaction from professional bodies was, however, mixed. The Chartered Institute of Taxation had some serious concerns.‘This report shows a worrying lack of consistency,’ complained CIOT policy director John Whiting.'I am saddened that the OTS Tax Director did not feel able to resist this pressure from the Treasury side.’However, for…

The 5 laws of accountancy

1. Trial balances don’t
2. Working Capital does not
3. Liquidity tends to run out
4. Return on investments never will
5. The bottom line is only the tip of the iceberg.

Twitter tax deductions for freelancers

Here is an extract from an Op-Art piece by Sam Potts in the New York Times. It seems to be an imagined tax form for the "marginally employed" and contains reference to various deductible expenses for freelancers:

The 'twitter deduction' starts with a note:
If you do not use twitter you do not qualify as a freelancer and may not use this form.

The Department of Treasury has determined that due to the huge amount of time that the freelance American workforce devote to tweeting, such activity shall be taxed according to the following formula [which I will not attempt to replicate here!]The total deductions box at the foot of the page requires entries for, inter alia:
ordinary/necessary pyjamas (that satisfy the equivalent of UK's 'wholly and exclusively' ruledelayed adulthood penaltytime wasting allowanceyour own personal navel blogyour food blogyour other food blogtax tip webinars

Big sums for accountants

Spotted on Reed recruitment advertising billboard.

Personalised number plates for accountants

David Winch of Accounting Evidence is proud of his number plate that incorporates his qualification initials FCA.

An auditor is known to have had AUD 1T and a tax specialist had TAX 1NG

But my favourite is the ex-Inspector who had a number plate S99 TMA and who loved parking next to cars at conferences and other events, with VAT or TAX or CA on their plates just to give them an unsubtle reminder.

Any more stories or ideas for personalised number plates for accountants?

Tax cheats have less variation in hairstyles than benefit cheats

On Radio 4's The Now Show, Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis recently suggested (series 31 episode 3) that:
"To the British, defrauding the DSS is a crime; defrauding HMRC is more of a sport."To highlight the difference in approach they referenced the two separate online forms at
"The tax evasion hotline information report form and the 'report a benefit thief online form".And they then compared aspects of the two forms:
"When grassing up the suspected villain, the tax fraud form asks you to provide approximate age, national insurance number and brief description of the person. The benefit fraud form asks you for: ethnic group, their build, their eye colour, eye wear, hair colour, hair type. It then gives you a separate menu of hair type options which include: afro, bald, dirty, dreadlocks, greasy, long, mohican, pony tail. All the classic hairstyles of the potentially criminal. And, brilliantly, 'wig'. That's right, if you're liv…