Friday, February 12, 2010

If I were an auditor (song parody)

If I were an auditor, and you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you hold or trade me?
If an auditor were my trade, would you still find me?
Or would you always second guess me, like everybody following behind me?

Save our love through loneliness,
Save our love through sorrow,
Would you give me sale treatment,
Or tell me I was borrowed?

If I worked for an audit firm, would you still love me?
Answer me babe, 'Yes I would," you wouldn't put the lawyers above me
If I worked a million hours, in audit, tax, or advising
Would our love grow every day, or only be amortizing?

So I can document today, you mean what you say, in the story you tell.
I need evidence today, to rely on what you say, before wedding bells.
Speak a little louder into my lapel.

If I were an auditor, and you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you hold or trade me?
Would you marry a CPA?
You can count on me, baby.

This 'music video'was filmed in Second Life. Song parody, "If I Were an Auditor," based on "If I Were a Carpenter." Produced by the Maryland Association of CPAs

Four Funerals and a Wedding - by Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis, the Deputy Editor of Taxation magazine has outlined a tax related film script on the Taxation blog. The inspiration for this idea being the other Richard Curtis who has moved, temporarily, into the world of tax with the Robin Hood Tax.

Richard (from Taxation) suggests that Four Funerals and a Wedding:
"...will be a laugh a minute slapstick comedy based in a fictional Exchequer department in the swinging (as in swinging from one idea to the next) tax capital of the world, London.

The plot will be based around politicians and Treasury officials who seek to outdo each other with ever more outlandish tax plans, which then require ever more outlandish schemes to sort out the fun-filled chaos that results.

Remember that zero per cent corporation tax band? Remember how we laughed?

The four funerals?

That will be tax plans and reliefs that have been buried over the years: taper relief, zero per cent corporation tax, the ten per cent band abolition, higher rate relief on pension premiums for the wealthy.

These are just a few that come to mind and the final top four will be chosen from the crazy laughter they elicit from my audience response group.

The wedding?

That’ll involve the joyful union of Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"It's a really big building" and other HMRC excuses

Pity poor Cherry Reynard. On her birthday she received a letter threatening her with fines if she didn't produce a certain document.

In fact she had sent them the document in question a month before and it had got lost within HMRC's office. As Cherry reports:
The (perfectly nice) lady I spoke to said that apparently my original letter had contained an all-important blue slip. The internal mail system only recognises blue slips, rather than, say, people's names. My failure to include the blue slip had resulted in my carefully packaged 35-page document entering a postal abyss, never to be seen again. While I recognise that not understanding the importance of the blue slip was negligent, I had called HMRC and asked exactly where I should send the package and to whom. The package had my tax and NI numbers on it.

This got me wondering how – in the absence of the blue slip - I could have got the document to the right person. Clearly sending something registered post is no use. I suppose I could try delivering it in person, but I've just googled East Kilbride and it's a really long way away. Plus, if HMRC's internal posties can't find someone in their own building, I'm not sure I'd have more luck. Maybe the person in question is very difficult to find – her desk is in an air-vent or something.
The reason first given to Cherry was that her letter had failed to reach the person in question because it's 'a really big building'.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The tax consequences of stealing stuff

Not sure which country's tax return guidance publication this is in. [edited: Thanks to Andy Long - below - for providing the link to show this statement also appears on (published by the Internal Revenue Service, part of the United States Department of the Treasury]

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Past President of CIOT doesn't understand his tax code?

If you were one of the most highly respected and experienced tax advisers in the country you'd probably know something about tax codes. And that's certainly true of Richard Mannion. He's head of the National tax function at accountants Smith & Williamson, a Past President of the CIOT and a recipient of the LexisNexis Taxation Lifetime achievement award.

AccountancyAge is reporting that Richard recently called an HMRC helpline as he'd noticed his tax code was incorrect. Imagine his astonishment to be told that he didn't understand the coding system!

I'm sure Richard stood his ground in his normal polite, gentle but firm way and that his tax code is now correct. But what chance the unrepresented taxpayer?!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The company accountant

The company accountant is shy and retiring.
He's shy a million dollars.
That's why he's retiring.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Leaving it late

An accountant friend tells me that the renewal date for his personal tax software is 1 January. He was a tad busy during the month and it wasn't until Wednesday 27th that he remembered to renew. Unfortunately there was a light glitch with the payment which he was unaware of until he arrived at his office on SUNDAY morning (31st Jan) to file his one remaining tax return. He'd been locked out of the system. Ooops!

Matters were resolved on Monday and the return was filed on 1 February.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Tweets re the 31 January tax filing deadline (accountants)

Just filing those last remaining few tax returns online. The best January we have ever had in terms of lowest levels of overtime and stress
@MilstedLangdon (Friday 4.10pm)

Congrats to all accountants who have done all they can and won't have to work over the weekend: @macrariolewin @JonStow @AS_Mitchell - More?
@BookMarkLee (Friday 7pm)

January is almost over - hooray! Really looking forward to Feb, I've got some great meetings lined up.....

One day to go and then Moira Stuart will be well and truly exorcised and we can have the space back under the stairs.

hey ho - into the office to file a few last minute tax returns.
@taxorprozac (08.20 Saturday morning)

Right. I'm off home. If your tax return is not done now, it won't be. Unless you call me and speak nicely :-)
@taxorprozac (18.00 Saturday evening)

7pm Saturday, still in the office helping clients to meet the UK tax return deadline. Only 29 hours left now.

Having a day off! All tax returns submitted in time, all payments made, job done! Back to "normal" on Monday?
@chapperscounts (Sunday 31st)

Deadline day for accountants! I have woken early and am completely "accounted" & "tax returned" out. Try & avoid the £100 fine if you can!

Sunday, 4:30pm - just finishing the last of the tax returns for submission to HMRC before the deadline at midnight tonight

Well, that's the last one gone. End of tax returns for another year. Hurrah!!!!!!!!! Must plan better for next year (he says again)!
@suretax (5pm Sunday)

Working on wrong. I'm a tax accountant...and it's busy season.... BOO!!!
@_J_La_ (6.30pm Sunday)

Last tax returned filed...a whole hour to spare. Bedtime now...

@davidpaulcox (11.10pm Sunday)

All 383 tax returns safely submitted. Fantastic performance by the team working late with information supplied at very short notice.
@BeatonsGroup (10am Monday!)

Tweets re the 31 January tax filing deadline (taxpayers)

HMRC now don't miss a thing on the tax return. "Were you party to one or more tax avoidance schemes?"

I avoided the £100 fine, but I'm convinced the Inland Revenue must be conspiring with greedy accountants to keep them busy (and rich).

Wow, never thought I'd say this, but the Inland Revenue are rather lovely. *Happies*

Will the inland revenue never answer my call? Actually I don't want them to so everything's rosie :-)

Lots on this weekend but is mainly about the Inland Revenue and finishing my tax return. Dunno why I leave it so late: they owe me money!

The Inland Revenue owe me an iPad !

Interesting. VirusBarrier suspects that the Inland Revenue self-assessment site is a phishing scam. Wonder if it's smarter than I think.

The Inland Revenue Tax Return 'Help line' is gonna get sued under the trades description act.

Required - Translator for HMRC (Inland Revenue) website. Send CVs to:

Bleurgh, tax return. I'm paying for an accountant for a reason, but she apparently doesn't do this for me :(

Just paid tax using my debit card on HMRC site. Bank then texts me to say my card has been used for overseas transaction!

Paid my tax 2 days before deadline and my accountant is my new best friend

Accountant has sent through tax return at last minute. Turns out I owe £1, not a couple of grand as in previous years. Phew!
@irascian (9am Sunday morning)

Tax. Done. New resolution for 2010 - get an accountant.
@joelbradbury (10pm Sunday evening)

Submitted tax return for first time without going to the wire. It is only 10pm, usually only do it with minutes to spare.

Just completed tax return 94 minutes ahead of deadline - woo hoo. No fine for me. And no tax to pay on losses. Next year I'll give more HMRC