Thursday, April 28, 2011

5 crazy claims for tax deductions from business profits

1 - Cost of hiring an arsonist – NO
A man with a failing furniture business decided to hire someone to burn it down. The store-owner's plan was not only to collect the $500,000 insurance money, but also to deduct the $10,000 expenses of hiring the arsonist! Not a smart man.

2 - Fake Boobs - YES
A stripper going by the name of CHESTY LOVE used her hard-earned savings to boost the size of her boobs, to the eye-popping size of 56-FF. She figured it would get her more tips. And the write-off was allowed, being considered a stage prop essential to her act.

3 - Cat food - YES
Junkyard owners set out bowls of pet food nightly to attract wild cats. The wild cats also took care of their nasty snake and rat problem, making the junkyard safer for customers and providing a useful business service. Yep, you guessed it…the pet food is a business expense, it was allowed.

4 - Body Oil - YES
If you’re a regular Joe, body oil is a once in a blue-moon splurge. Maybe something to spice up an evening with your partner, but certainly not a write-off. However, if you’re a pro bodybuilder and need gallons of body oil to make your muscles glisten, then it is a genuine tax write-off. Just don’t turn up at a client meeting covered in oil, wearing nothing but a thong and a smile.

5 - A ‘Playmate' Party - YES!
The owner of a nightclub promotions firm decided that a regular party wasn’t good enough for his clients. So, he brought in a bunch of scantily clad “bunnies” as decoration. The tax man said sure, it’s a valid expense. Whether or not pictures of the bunnies were attached to the return is unknown at this time.

Taken from a US list of 20 Amazing tax deductions

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Are accountants legumaticians or beancounters?

Legumaticians seems to be a made up word that acts as a clever synonym for 'bean counter'. What's the origin of that phrase which is commonly used as a derogatory term for an accountant?

The most obvious answer might be a reference to those who counted the beads (or beans) on an abacus. However this is not borne out by an internet search.

According to the August 11, 2000 issue of the Word detective:
"Bean counter" has an interesting history. It seems to have first appeared in the mid-1970s in the U.S., and its original use was simply as a vivid synonym for "accountant," especially one who brooked no nonsense. Its first known occurrence in print was in a 1975 Forbes magazine article that referred to "a smart, tightfisted and austere 'bean counter' accountant from rural Kentucky," though we can assume the quotation marks meant the writer had heard the term in use before the date of the article. In any case, the allusion is clearly to an accountant so dedicated to detail that he or she counts everything, down to the last small, but still important, bean.

By the 1980s, however, most appearances of "bean counter" in the media were taking on a derogatory tone, and "bean counter" is now frequently used to mean a nitpicker who, lost in the numbers, fails to see the "big picture."
The 'wiseGEEK' site has a more graphic analysis that includes:
While an accountant might be asked to perform a thorough inventory of his or her company's assets, only a bean counter would literally count the number of beans contained in the company kitchen's pantry. A financial bean counter may also scrutinize each department's budget to find any form of potential waste, no matter how insignificant or nominal it appears to be.
It is possible that the description was inspired by overzealous kitchen inventory takers who insisted on counting every bean in a bag or every potato in a sack. The act of counting every bean to the exclusion of more important duties would be viewed by many as the ultimate act of micromanagement. Perhaps the term "bean counter" entered the popular vernacular through the commercial or military food industries, where strict inventory controls are common.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Music for accountants....

In a post on AccountingWeb, Accountant Richard Joseph claims to have the original scripts for the Motown version of an accountants' musical which was was mooted in the seventies, and the lead song turned out to be a big hit for Marvin Gaye, - "I Audit Through the Grapevine".

Richard continues:
But, of course, who else but the Beatles would have been the orginators of the accountants musical theme, when they came out with their classic tribute to the audit profession in 1965 with "Tick it to Ride".
Rumours are still going about of an album of songs to be released in honour of our profession by Gary Barlow, of the internationally renowned boy-band "Tick That". But I haven't actually heard any of them yet.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Two tax quotes

"What Mae West said about sex is true about taxes. All tax cuts are good tax cuts; even bad tax cuts are good tax cuts."
-- Grover Norquist

"There's nothing wrong with the younger generation that becoming taxpayers won't cure."
-- Dan Bennett

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 ...