Friday, May 13, 2022

How accountants do it...

Accountants do it by the book. 
Accountants do it within budget. 
Accountants do it to the bottom line. 
Accountants do it with double entries. 
Accountants do it between spreadsheets. 
Accountants are Certified to do it in Public. 
Accountants do it without losing their balance.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Out of the mouths of babes...

This true story may only make sense if you know me, but it's worth recording anyway:

 Many years ago when my nephew Zach was about 8 years old he told his mother that when he grew up he wanted to be like Uncle Mark. 

 "An accountant?" his mother asked, a little incredulous that little Zach could be interested in the subject at such a young age. 

What could have happened to inspire this attraction to the profession she wondered. 

Zach's reply was priceless. "Oh," he said, "Is that what you call someone who does magic tricks?"

Friday, April 29, 2022

An acronym that didn't catch on

Following the merger of the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise in 2005 we should be used to references to Officers of Revenue and Customs. Surprisingly though no one ever referneicnes them using the releated acronym ORCs. Taking this a step further, when we talk about ORCs using their powers, we could use the acronym: PORCS This could lead to ORCs using their PORCs to identify when taxpayers have told Porkies. Shame it didn't cvatch on!

Friday, April 22, 2022

Ken Dodd's tax case

When the comedian Ken Dodd was charged with tax fraud in 1989 he vetted a string of barristers before eventually telling his solicitor that he wanted to see George Carman. This proved to be a wise move. The case bore many of the hallmarks of a typical Carman performance: a famous defendant, seemingly incontrovertible evidence and a sensational acquittal. The result owed much to Carman's deftness at arguing that comic genius and careful accounting were strangers. He encapsulated the hypothesis in a phrase that he rightly judged would strike a chord with the jury: "Some accountants are comedians," he said. Then, after a pause: "But comedians are never accountants."

Friday, April 15, 2022

What clients say and what they mean

"We keep excellent records" =  Our books are a mess but don't you dare say otherwise, also I would like a discount please. 

"I'm looking for a flexible accountant" =  I will ring you evenings and weekends and expect an immediate answer. I may even call on Boxing Day. Late. 

"My last accountant didn't file the accounts on time and we got fined" =  I don't expect this to happen with you, though I will ignore repeated reminders and only give you the records one week before year end.

"My last accountant was an idiot" = I'm an idiot. 

"I'd like to negotiate on your fees" =  Although I want to squeeze more out of you, I've watched the Apprentice so I know how to negotiate. Lower your fees but not your service - and don't expect payment on time either. 

"My wife studied AAT years ago so she will be doing the bookkeeping" = Don't try it on with me matey boy, I have an expert in the camp, and get ready to be told how to do your own job.

Friday, April 08, 2022

10 years since Jimmy Carr's tax scheming made the news

In 2012, after 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, March 25, 2022

Irregular verbs to describe variations on tax planning and tax avoidance

 At it's simplest perhaps we have:

I only pursue approved tax incentives
You look for tax avoidance opportunities
He breaks the law and evades tax

One variation is:
I pay all the tax due
You look for easy ways to avoid paying all the tax due
He engages in aggressive tax planning

Another is:
I manage my financial affairs sensibly 
 You engage in aggressive avoidance 
 He/She is a slimy tax cheat

And looked at from another perspective:

I receive public spending
You get tax incentives
He gets a subsidy

What further variations can you come up with?

How accountants do it...

Accountants do it by the book.  Accountants do it within budget.  Accountants do it to the bottom line.  Accountants do it with double entri...