Monday, November 29, 2010

Top 10 Ways To Make Doing Your Taxes More Fun

As reported on the David Letterman US TV show

10. Do 'em naked.
9. Instead of a restaurant receipt, send them leftovers from the meal in question.
8. Frequent use of the word "eleventeen."
7. Claim a deduction, do a shot!
6. In "For Office Use Only" area write "Approved. Send refund immediately."
5. Apply a long-term capital gain rate of 20% to a mutual fund, do a shot!
4. Sneeze on forms.
3. Instead of using dated definition of income, use the proposed revised definition under section 643(B) in which conforming amendments are made to regulations affecting ordinary trusts, pooled income funds, charitable remainder trusts, trusts that qualify for the gift and estate tax marital deduction, and trusts that are exempt from generation-skipping transfer taxes -- that always puts a smile on my face.
2. Deduct $100 in medical expenses for all the paper cuts you suffered because tax form is 75 damn pages long!
1. Audit yourself, if you know what I mean.

I gave up on number 3!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Refusing to take a long term view?

During his speech at the ICAEW's Hardman lecture last night David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury commented on the list of over 1,000 tax reliefs so far identified by the Office for Tax Simplification.
"Who'd have thought there were that many. And now we need to consider whether we need to keep them all."
David continued:
"Among those reliefs is Millenium Gift Aid. I'm all for taking a long term view, but do we really need a relief that won't be relevant again for another 990 years?!"

PriceWaterhouseCoopers is no more

They are now officially PwC.

Better than the abbreviation that some used when Price Waterhouse first merged with Coopers & Lybrand)


Friday, November 12, 2010

The best reason ever given to HMRC for late payment of tax

Long before HMRC introduced a 'time to pay' system through the Business Payment Support Service, Inspectors kept track of the more extreme excuses given for late payment.

My heart went out to the taxpayer with the best reason I ever heard. He asked for time to pay because:
"Just recently the drains were blocked and the bungalow was flooded, We had 6,000 gallons of effluent all over the inside and out.
Please consider all the things we've been through."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Making the case for accountants to help with sustainability

This video is so well scripted it warrants a place on this blog, despite its serious message.
It features the ubiquitous Stephen Fry as the voice of the earth and encourages accountants to do more to aid sustainability.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Monday, November 08, 2010

When the taxman chases the recently departed...

A few weeks after Bernie died his sister, Susie, intercepted a letter sent to him by HMRC. It was a request for a tax return. Susie took the letter to her accountant who, after asking a few questions, suggested she reply as follows and pp the letter 'from Bernie (deceased)':
One of the advantages of having died is that there is no tax in heaven. It's a beautiful place. When I was alive I paid tax through the PAYE system and had not had any direct dealings with the taxman for many years. I can't say I'm that fussed about the outstanding return as I had no unearned income and left very little in the way of an inheritance for my sole living relative, my sister. Also, such matters seem so mundane since my recent demise. I might add that I have not yet met anyone from HMRC up here!