Monday, June 25, 2012

Sean Lock on Jimmy Carr's tax scheming

In the week that Jimmy Carr was exposed as a tax avoider and then apologised for his 'grave error', fellow comedian, Sean Lock, generated some great laughs at Jimmy's expense on the TV show '8 out of 10 Cats':
We all like to put a bit of money away for a rainy day. But you're more prepared than Noah!
There's a new tv show you could do: 'Through the Loophole'. "Who lives in a tax haven like this?" 
You've got an illness. You're suffering from tax intolerance. You might even be HMRC positive.
Gary Barlow of 'Take That' also come for a little stick.
Sean said the band is now known as 'Keep That'.
And Jon Richardson concluded that Gary's OBE stands for 'Offshore Banking Expert'.

Jimmy Carr himself admitted that it was all very complicated but that as a result of his offshore agreements he feared that he is now a member of Take That.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The 'Accountants can be fun' poem

Accountants can be fun
Mine often makes me snigger
As he enthuses over Balance Sheets
And row upon row of figures 
Accountants can be fun
It's really quite uplifting
When they come up with a survival plan
And tell you "Trends are shifting" 
Accountants can be fun
They take gruesome returns in their stride
It's better to have them working for you
Than be on the other side 
Accountants can be fun
They just love Red Tape
It's good to let them "Talk you through"
Whilst listening to their japes

Accountants can be fun
You have to give them credit
Their faces light up infectiously
If you sign their Direct Debit 
Accountants can be fun
Just give them chance to shine
You may find to your amazement
That they're real rib-ticklers like mine 
Accountants have the last laugh
It really is quite eerie
They charge you if they get it wrong.
And they charge you for a query.
Penned by Kelly Sweet, who used to work in the City, according to her profile on WriteBuzz where the above first appeared.  

Friday, June 08, 2012

Death and taxes and zombies

Law professor Adam Chodorow has authored a paper "Death and Taxes and Zombies,"which will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Iowa Law Review. 

In his paper the Professor argues:
A zombie apocalypse will create an urgent need for significant government revenues to protect the living, while at the same time rendering a large portion of the taxpaying public dead or undead. 
The government’s failure to anticipate or plan for this eventuality could cripple its ability to respond effectively, putting us all at risk. 
In addition to zombies, the article also considers how estate and income tax laws should apply to vampires and ghosts. Given the difficulties identified herein of applying existing tax law to the undead, new legislation may be warranted. However, any new legislation is certain to raise its own set of problems. The point here is not to identify the appropriate approach. Rather, it is to goad Congress and the IRS into action before it is too late.
Among the specific points addressed in the paper are:

  • The differences between zombies under the power of others and self-motivating zombies
  • Is a zombie considered to be the same person it was prior to death? (a person's transformation into a raving cannibal with no heartbeat might not be enough to consider them legally deceased)
  • Whether a person is still considered married if their spouse has become undead 
  • The administrative problems of resurrecting dead social security numbers
  • If someone who becomes a zombie is considered not dead (as opposed to undead) for estate and income tax purposes, no charge to estate tax [IHT] would be triggered
  • Would zombies be considered dead because they suffered a personality change, physical disability, or decreased brain function? If so, the door would be open to declaring dead a wide range of people currently considered to be alive.
  • If a vampire is considered non-deceased for the purposes of her estate — which is to say, she retains ownership of her property in undeath — but is no longer considered a "woman" then her marriage might be considered void when she becomes a vampire.

I'm no fan of vampire films, stories and books so have no idea whether these are only issues to be considered in the USA or if they could be relevant in the UK too. In which case the big question is whether HMRC should be addressing this issue. I confess it's not something I've ever given much time to myself.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Accountant problems - as posted on twitter May 2012

The following tweets all appeared on twitter in May 2012 with the hashtag #accountantproblems

  • Getting laid is not an option for me. 
  • Indoors doing purchase testing. 
  • Reading about getting taxed when you die, sheff hallam I signed up for boring not depressing 
  • Why do people automatically assume we know everything about taxes as soon as we say we are CPAs? 
  • Why can't I make the numbers do my bidding??? 
  • When hot girls only talk to you for tax advice I hate accounting. 
  • My trial balance doesn't equal. 
  • I hate that the numbers on a telephone are opposite of a keyboard. I can never dial a phone number right the first time. 
  • The thought of spending the rest of my life in this profession is making this first work day even more miserable 
  • You accept an engagement and work till midnight. Non-chargeable admin code 
  • I am a pro-fes-ion-al at excel spreadsheets #nerd 
  • You complete a federal return and pass it up for review. Completed return for wrong year 
  • Hot girl: so what do you do for living? Me: I'm an accountant Hot girl: *silent pause* oh *walks away*

Any more? 

Before PwC, before Coopers & Lybrand, there was Cooper Brothers.....

Long before the merger of Coopers and Lybrand and Price Waterhouse created the firm we now know as PwC,  Coopers was originally called Coope...