Friday, March 31, 2017

Why should we assume that everyone knows this?

Many years ago my (then) teenage son was field testing an early version of a temporary website intended to encourage young people to choose a career in tax. It included a list of the various professional bodies - which were identified only by their initials.

My son asked the question: "What's a Kyott? an I - cow, an Acker and an Eye-Kas?"

All those involved with the project used abbreviations all the time. But we'd forgotten that many in our audience would have no idea what the letters stood for. Following the initial feedback we spelled them all out in full.

More recently someone asked the then President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation why they preferred to be known as "See, Eye, Oh, Tee" rather than "See-ott". The emphatic reply apparently was that "See-ott sounds terrible"Indeed. But better than "Ky-ott" which was how my son had tried to pronounce the letters!

The other words in the title above refer to ICAEW, ACCA and ICAS.
Postscript: A related story I posted on this blog last year: The same professional surname

Friday, March 24, 2017

How often do HMRC get messages like this?

Message apparently left on local HMRC office answerphone:

"Hello - there's a minicab company operating from Ottingham Road, Pinner that has loads of unroadworthy cabs. You should take a look"

Doh! HMRC is the Inspector of Taxes NOT Taxis !

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fifty ways to please the taxman

Accountant Nigel Hughes has crafted this topical variation on the Paul Simon classic. It's a fun ditty in itself and even cleverer if you can recall the original tune as you read it!

Your problem is all inside your head she said to me
The answer is easy if you do it digitally
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be 50 ways to please the taxman

She said I hate to see you blundering in this fog
Tax really doesn’t need to be such a slog
I’d like to end your love affair with analogue
There must be fifty ways to please the taxman

Fifty ways to please the taxman

Just get on the web Fred
Click on your mouse Klaus
Get up in the cloud Howard
Just zap it to me
This is the key, Lee
You don't need double entry
Do it on line Brian
And set yourself free
It's a new day Ray
Just think what you'll save Dave
Take a quick pic Rick
And listen to me
You'll never believe Steve
What you can do if you trust me
Just take a quick snap Jack
And set yourself free
She said paper records are really such a drag
In cardboard boxes or a Tesco carrier bag
I said I appreciate that but don't you think some clients might just gag

On the 50 ways

She said I think you should just leave it all to me
I know very soon, you’ll fall in love with MTD
And then she kissed me and I realised I could charge a quarterly fee
There must be 50 ways to please the taxman

Friday, March 10, 2017

Was this accountant really a coward?

An accountant is sitting alone in a country pub sipping a beer and reviewing some accounts which he has out on the table in front of him.

A bunch of bikers roar up to the pub and when then go inside they immediately begin harassing the accountant. He tries to ignore them as they insult him and make fun of his glasses, the accounts and the fact that he isn't responding to their taunts.

The accountant continues to ignore the bikers who then begin poking at him and getting physical. One of the bikers pours beer on his head. He does nothing. Another pokes him with a pool stick. He does nothing. Another sweeps his accounts off the table onto the floor and stamps all over them covering the papers in mud and grime. Still he does nothing.

Eventually the accountant pays for his drinks and leaves the bar.

One of the bikers turns to the bartender and says, "Not much of a man, was he?" sneering at the cowardice of the accountant who did not defend himself against a bunch of guys who outnumbered him and were bigger than him.

And the bartender turns to the biker and says, "He's not much of a driver, either. He just rode over all of your bikes."

Friday, March 03, 2017

Why would the taxman believe this explanation?

During a tax investigation an inspector from HMRC asks the taxpayer how he managed to afford such a luxurious holiday villa with such little income.  The taxpayer responded with this story:
"While out fishing last summer, I caught a large golden fish. When I took it off the hook, the fish opened its mouth and said that he was a magical fish. This magical fish promised me that if I threw him back into the sea he would reward me with the most luxurious villa I had ever seen. After thinking about it for a moment, I said "OK" and threw the magic fish back into the sea. When I walked back up from the sea I could see the villa, just as the fish had promised."
The Inspector laughed and asked how the taxpayer expected to prove such an unbelievable story?

The taxpayer said "Well, you can see the villa, can't you?"

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...