Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do 'honest' criminals pay tax?

Many thanks to Tax Barrister, Keith Gordon, of Atlas Chambers who made me aware of this Little Britain radio sketch. It features David Walliams as a hitman and Matt Lucas as a cuckolded husband who is surprised to be questioned about tax matters

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Academy Award winning Accountant


Ray McKinnon and his wife Lisa Blount won an Academy Award in 2001 for their Live Action Short Film "The Accountant".

The 35 minute film tells the story of an accountant whose mathematical skills just might save the O'Dell family farm. The accountant takes the O'Dell brothers on a journey that explores the plight of America’s family farms and hidden corporate conspiracies.

Or, as the promo materials said: "Can one man, one hard drinking, chain smoking, backwoods accountant, stop a national conspiracy, change the course of history, and save a way of life? It's do-able... but it ain't gonna be purdy."

With thanks to Joseph McDonnell for bringing this to my attention.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ode to tax and the Olympics

Well, it is a cycle.
It starts as a marathon and ends with a sprint.
Along the way, there will be hurdles to face, targets and sometimes you will come across pools and penalties.
Coaching/training will be provided and some courses are sponsored.
It's all hard work and grafting to get clients to send in the information early.
Sometimes you just dive in, other times you may perform mental gymnastics with some of the tax rules which may necessitate weightlifting the yellow tax handbooks.
Yesterday, I hopped on the tube to go and see a client, skipped lunch and jumped into the preparation of his return which meant creating records on my lap-top.
You may need to box clever with HMRC but be careful not to sail too close to abusive avoidance.
After five rings I give up calling HMRC.
When partner X enters the tax department you know someone's for the high jump.
Certain tax return entries disqualify filing by internet which may mean posting the return to HMRC, Olympic House, 3 Olympic Way, Wembley.
The 31 January sees the finishing line.
I hold a torch for the days when you could run along to the tax office with a signed return to submit.
Then there is the HMRC enquiry work which includes taking random samples.
You need to pass the baton to the younger generation of tax return preparers.
I hammer home to staff the firm's gold medal standard of service to clients, but that there is no silver for second best.
And finally, the taxman takes your clients' money to pay for the Kinks' Ray Davies to perform at the closing ceremony.

Penned by Citroen Wells partner Nick Brennan

Friday, September 14, 2012

Accountants as superheros


The above, posted by @RachelmSinha,  are just two examples picked up from the twitter feed for #icaewheroes - It seems they were crafted by attendees at an ICAEW sustainability conference, at Imperial College, in response to the question: What superhero skills do accountants have to save the world?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Nerd who loved me

I was intrigued by the premise of this book by Vicki Lewis Thompson:

Lainie Terrell is no ordinary single mother. With feathers in all the right places, she's one of the hottest showgirls in Vegas. Aside from a hot-tempered ex-boyfriend on her sequined tail, Lainie's biggest problem is finding a decent babysitter for her son. Lainie's dilemma is solved when she ropes Harry Ambrewster, the casino's shy-but very smart and cute-accountant, into the task.

Inheriting his chemist father's high I.Q. and sexy good looks, Harry has always been intrigued by Lainie. He isn't thrilled at the prospect of babysitting, but he'll do anything to get near the gal who fuels his craziest fantasies. Then Lainie's dangerous ex comes knocking... Their option? Run faster than a pair of net stockings.

In disguise and on the run, Lainie's masquerading as the perfect wife. Harry's doubling as the he-man protector. But with a set-up this hot, who's fooling who? When the lights go down, and the masks come off, a nerd like Harry could be just the right ignition to set a woman like Lainie on fire...

Just wish he wasn't a nerd.....

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Accountancy was my life until........


Hard to believe I've not posted this classic advert from the 1970s on this blog before now.
Another Smirnoff advert in the same series was: ‘I thought the Kama Sutra was an Indian restaurant until I discovered Smirnoff’.