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“My name is…. And I am a tax adviser” – a shocking confession

The following appeared at the start of a two-page article in Taxation magazine (6 June 2013):

“My name is Sarah Saunders and I am a tax adviser. Clearly, I cannot be proud to admit this shameful fact; if I were appearing on television I would be portrayed in silhouette only and an actor would speak my words.
I was innocent once, but I was lured into dabbling in tax while taking my degree. How could I have known that I was involved in something immoral?
All the people I worked with seemed nice and respectable; they talked about things like “professional ethics”. I had no idea I was being inducted into a conspiracy to defraud the British People.”

Sarah then references the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee’s insinuation that tax advisers are part of “a Machiavellian evil conspiracy.”
Sarah’s article concludes:


“We need to [be able to] say: “I’m a tax adviser and I’m proud”. Perhaps we should organize some marches and wear some suitably messaged T-shirts? Mind you, if anyone asks my profession at the moment, I think I’ll claim to be something more socially acceptable; for example, a traffic warden or a walking billboard”
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Are you a prostitute or are you an auditor?

1. You work very odd hours.

2. You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy.

3. You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money.

4. You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.

5. You charge by the hour but your time can be extended.

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7. Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.

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10. If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client.

11. You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living.

12. People ask you, "What do you do?" and you can't explain it.

13. Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate.

14. Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money.

15. Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or Jaguars.

16. Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain of it all.

17. You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth but if the client…

Ken Dodd and the Inland Revenue

The comedian Ken Dodd, was prosecuted for tax evasion in 1989 as has been mentioned on this blog before, here and here. I'd love to find a clip of him talking about it in his act. For now though here are a couple of references to comments he makes about the experience.

He is known to introduce himself as a “failed accountant”. That, he explains, is simply to establish a rapport with the audience. “People today are all stressed out about home economics, and accountants are the current bogeymen. [Since when?]

Dodd is the butt of a lot of his material and repeated references are made to his love of money, his dislike of what he insists on calling the Inland Revenue and his past run-in with them. “They sent me a self-assessment form the other day. To me! I invented self-assessment.”

During the trial it was revealed that Dodd had very little money in his bank account. He did however have £336,000 in cash stashed in suitcases in his attic. When asked by the judge, "What does a…