Thursday, January 26, 2012

I can destroy you, Moira Stewart tells self-assessment taxpayers

Well - at least that's what 'The Daily Mash' (a satirical online newspaper) is reporting. Their spoof article continues:

MOIRA Stewart, the all-seeing God of Tax, has warned of great suffering for those self-employed workers whose forms displease her.

Powerful divinity Stewart, whose earthly guises include a semi-likeable middle-aged woman, a grey fox and a fire-breathing lizard with nine heads and 43 tusks, has assured mortals that she will not be made a mockery of as the Great Deadline of January 31 approaches.

Stewart, also known as Brabarine or 'The Taxacious One', said: “The hour of self-assessment is nigh.

“But heed my words – a Tesco carrier bag full of crumpled receipts and sweet wrappers does not represent adequate record keeping.

“Nor can you simply make up a number, times it by four and call it your 'mileage allowance'.

“I have many eyes and many ears. My minions include HMRC inspectors, birds and little insects that land on my shoulder and chirrup of your lies.”

Stewart's main shrine, The Golden Temple of the HMRC Dawn, has been inundated with offerings from workers anxious to curry favour with the implacable god.

Scaffolder Tom Logan said: “After sending my tax return, I became paranoid that I may have somehow forgotten to include about six months' worth of cash-in-hand work.

“So I've brought this fatted calf and plan to kill it in the reception area, hoping that it will encourage Moira Stewart to be merciful.”

Meanwhile thousands of concerned self-assessment taxpayers are trapped in the Celestial Maze, also known as the HMRC Helpline.

Masseuse Nikki Hollis said: “There are many menus, each one promising to lead you to an advisor.

“But they only lead to further menus, or a recorded message telling you to go to the website. And if you accidentally press '3', you die instantly."

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Inland Revenue episode of QI

A recent episode of the current series of BBC TVs QI focused on the Inland Revenue. Clearly no one had told the researchers or producers that HMRC took over from the Inland Revenue almost 7 years ago (April 2005).

Still, that quibble aside, some of the stories are worth repeating on this blog:

The world's most exotic tax inspectors are in Pakistan. If you refuse to pay your tax you are shamed into paying it by receiving a visit from a team of tax inspectors who are all transgender. They would then sing and dance in your place of business until you paid up. In Andhra Pradesh, India, tax inspectors use drummers to get people to pay tax, by standing outside the place of business and banging on the drums loudly until they pay up. The comedians on the show considered how the 'Inland Revenue' might achieve a similar outcome here. The favoured conclusion was to send in the Morris Dancers.

Sandi Toksvig once spent three days with a tax man who investigated all of her accounts. In the end he did not find anything and the taxman said: "To be honest Miss Toksvig, I just wanted to meet you."

Dara O'Briain recalled an actor who tried to claim his carpet against tax because of the wear and tear he caused when he walked up and down while he learnt his lines. He did not get away with it. Dara himself once tried to claim for a bed but failed, while Sandi attempted to claim for some paintings in her office, failing as well. She told the tax inspector that no-one could possibly work in an office which had no art in it. Sandi looked around the inspector's office and saw that it had just one poster in it, which explained the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Kids explain why they want to be tax accountants when they grow up



Sadly there's an element of truth in a lot of what they say.
(In the UK it's worth noting that when these kids talk about 'auditors' they are referencing the IRS not their accountancy colleagues in the audit dept)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

An ode to auditing

Auditors are people too, we’re not nasty and mean
No need for fear and loathing whenever we are seen
Don’t hide behind your desk or go and nervously take flight
We’re only there to try to make sure everything’s all right
So when we do a test it isn’t just because we can
It’s to check your system’s working right all neatly spick and span
When we ask awkward questions it’s simply that we care
That your records may be incomplete with not all you need there
We look for fraud it’s true but hope to find it? We do not!
Dealing with fraud just adds more to the work that is our lot
Yes auditors are lovely with a helpful task to do
It’s only incidental when we make more work for you
I hope that now you understand and so, what do you say
Will you fight prejudice and hug an auditor today?

Contributed by StePurham on AccountingWeb