Friday, August 26, 2016

Dominic Frisby, 'Let’s Talk about Tax'

I am indebted to Philip Fisher for sharing a review of this 2016 Edinburgh show in Taxation magazine.  Philip's observations include the following about Dominic's show:
  • While tax specialists will know much of what is on offer, they should learn some new facts, whether about the history of tax, the size of our code, now over 10 million words - being 12½ times as many as the bible – or ephemera such as the average telephone wait for HMRC, 47 minutes.
  • He also makes many intelligent observations, for example that if tax gets too high, people merely avoid it using those time-honoured ‘Fs’: fight, flight and fraud. He observes also that HMRC is technically not answerable to parliament but to the Queen (who is technically exempt from funding herself but pays tax on a voluntary basis)
Other reviewers include additional points of note:
  • When he steps onto the stage you can instantly see Frisby’s dressed for money. Suited, booted and topped by a bowler hat, the comedian looks like the quintessential City man. It doesn’t take long to realise the comedian has a compelling interest in cash, and in particular how the government goes about taking ours.
  • His knowledge of tax history is encyclopaedic – the UK window tax of the 17th century and its adverse effect on the population’s health and the Roman’s desire to tax urine (which was apparently a valuable agent in clothes laundering and the prevention of tooth decay) just two amusing examples.
Warning: The video interview with Dominic below talking about the show includes sexual references!



Friday, August 12, 2016

10 alternatives to being the Taxman's 'Customer'

For some years now HMRC (the taxman) has used the word 'customers' to refer to all types of taxpayers and tax credit claimants.  Of course 'customers' normally get a choice as to where they shop so it's not the right word.  

Here are ten alternative, not too serious, descriptions. Do you have any other suggestions?

  1. Slaves
  2. Victims
  3. Codees - Anyone who deals with the tax authorities has to have a code, so that's the common element.
  4. Punters
  5. Suckers 
  6. Cash cows
  7. Mugs
  8. Muggles 
  9. Government financiers
  10. Lemons (as in "squeeze them until the pips squeak")

Friday, August 05, 2016

6 reasons accountants make great friends


  1. They're an asset that never depreciates
  2. They can work out how to split the bill after a meal (and could do so before apps were developed to resolve this important life skill)
  3. Without them, it's an accrual world
  4. You can always count on them
  5. They help you figure life out
  6. They make everything balance and give credit where it's due
With due credit to the AAT community whose online contributions were collated into this video that contains the 6 reasons above - plus a 'scary' 7th point!