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.
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