Friday, September 26, 2008

What is a Budget?

Q: What is a Budget?

A: An orderly system for living beyond your means.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

When all is not quite what it seems

The company personnel department had carefully interviewed thirty-eight people for the job of assistant to the financial director.

The chief executive thought that one candidate - Charles - seemed ideal. Charles had been to a major public school. Not only was he a qualified accountant, but Charles also had a masters degree in business administration. He seemed fully aware of the latest creative accountancy techniques.

'Charles,' said the chief executive, we've decided to offer you the job. And as you're so well qualified we've decided to start you off on a slightly higher salary than the one advertised. We'll pay you 36,000 pounds a year.

'Thank you,' replied Charles. 'But how much is that per month?

Found on the KEEPERS ACCOUNTANCY website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When a taxpayer accuses the taxman of begging

This has evidently been doing the rounds for some time. Worth including on this blog too though. It's allegedly a letter sent by the taxman in reply to a taxpayer's refusal to pay outstanding taxes:

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order.

Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a “begging letter”. It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a “tax demand”. This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the “endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat” has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that there being from “pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers” might indicate that your decision to “file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies” is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a “lackwit bumpkin” or, come to that, a “sodding charity”. More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay “go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services”, a moment’s rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to “stump up for the whole damned party” yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor’s disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on “junkets for Bunterish lickspittles” and “dancing whores” whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to, for example, “that box-ticking fa├žade of a university system.”

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:
1. The reason we don’t simply write “Muggins” on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system;

2. You can rest assured that “sucking the very marrows of those with nothing else to give” has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn’t render it irrelevant, the sheer medical Logistics involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to “give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India” you would still owe us the money. Please send it to us by Friday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Haggis tax?

Haggis and tax laws are both the result of bloody processes; the end result is a mystery and you wouldn't want to watch either being made.

Friday, September 12, 2008

If you wanted photos of accountants in action....

On my blog for ambitious accountants I have just posted an item about how an architect blew me away by showing me a few photos on his iphone during a networking event. They reinforced what he was saying about the style of houses he had designed for clients.

I've been struggling to think of ways that accountants could do something similar. Showing a few photos of a well bound and balanced set of accounts for example wouldn't have the same impact.

In the spirit of this blog of course I can let my imagination run away a little. How about showing pictures of:
  • the car parking spaces reserved for clients behind your office in the centre of town?
  • your reception area with free tea and coffee, papers and the like for visitors?
  • the toys and colouring books in the area close to reception for when clients bring their children with them?
  • a tax official looking bloodied and brusied after a long meeting during which you successfully defended a client's tax position?
  • your burly looking partner - the one who gets sent to negotiate with the taxman?
Please add your own ideas as comments to this post.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

NHS support for tax reform campaigner

Richard Murphy shared a lovely story just before giving the AIA Founder's lecture last night:

Apparently Richard was challeneged by a senior official at HMRC who was curious as to how Richard could afford to spend so much time on his tax campaigning, research and writing. Richard explained that he was supported by the NHS.

The official nearly exploded with indignation. "Why on earth is the NHS supporting tax research?" he demanded to know.

Richard then explained that it was only doing so only indirectly. It seems his wife is a high earning GP!

During his lecture Richard later referred to the European Savings Tax Directive and stressed that his wife got very concerned the first time she heard him refer to it by its initials 'STD'. She wanted to know how and why and.....

It's not an octopus

Q. What has lots of arms and legs?

A. A happy and successful tax inspector

Thursday, September 04, 2008

For every tax problem...

For every tax problem there is a solution which is straightforward, uncomplicated and wrong.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

When I grow up...

....I'm going to be an internal auditor

....I want to marry an internal auditor
Just two of the quotes from a two and an half minute video which features kids from all over the world professing their interest in becoming internal auditors!

This fun video was presented at The IIA's 2008 International Conference. All of the boys and girls featured are children of staff members at IIA Global Headquarters

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The power of prayer

A couple of weeks after hearing a sermon on Psalms 51:2-4 (knowing my own hidden secrets) and Psalm 52:3-4 (lies and deceit), a man wrote the following letter to the taxman:

"I have been unable to sleep, knowing that I have cheated on my income tax. I understated my taxable income, and have enclosed a check for £150. If I still can't sleep, I will send the rest."