Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Assume nothing

One day in microeconomics, the professor was writing up the typical "underlying assumptions" in preparation to explain a new model.

Steve turned to his friend, Mike, and asked, "What would Economics be without assumptions?"

Mike thought for a moment, then replied, "Accounting."

Monday, September 20, 2010

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 hundred thousand pounds in a suitcase feel like?", Dodd made his now famous reply, "The notes are very light, M'Lord."

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"Softworld - What's that?"

I proudly told a professional associate I will be speaking at Softworld again this year.
My friend looked confused. She asked:
"Why are you talking at the childrens' soft play area?"
But I could see why that was her first thought. She's a new mum!

Softworld is the UK's only show dedicated to demonstrating accounting and finance solutions
Softworld Autumn 2010 takes place on 19-20 October at ExCeL London. I'm speaking on "How accountants can use and abuse social media"

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Artful TAX Dodgers - It's your pocket they're picking

Love the title of this new book by John W O'Sullivan, a former tax inspector. He spent twenty years working for HMRC investigating serious tax evasion and fraud throughout the West Midlands and Central Wales.

Tax dodging: more popular than football, more subtle than chess, and played by millions. Some know the rules of the game, a few have some idea of the tactics, but what do they know of their faceless opponents in the distant computer centres and Special Compliance offices?

In this 'partial, prejudiced and jaundiced overview', a former Senior Inspector of Taxes presents a frank insider's view of a working life in taxes. With humour, relevance and a refreshing minimum of technical jargon, he casts an ironic eye on the professional activities and private passions of Dobson, one of the 'odious agents of the Income Tax'. Dobson's investigations uncover the professional fouls, dirty tricks and shady practices of those for whom tax dodging means anything from modest evasion to criminal fraud: both illegal, of limited effectiveness, and with serious consequences if detected.

How to persuade the taxman your dog is a tax deductible business expense

Many years ago a publican had a meeting with a tax inspector in his pub. The publican had been claiming tax relief in respect the upkeep of ...