Monday, May 19, 2008

Award Nomination

New Statesman New Media AwardI am pleased to announce that HMRC Is Shite has been nominated for the New Statesman New Media Awards 2008.

The New Statesman, Britain’s leading political magazine is delighted to announce that HMRC Is Shite has been nominated for a New Media Award in the category of Campaign For Change. The campaign for change award will go to the individual or organisation that has most effectively influenced opinions and behaviour through the use of new media technology. The winner of this award will champion a cause and provide information and tools to instigate change.

The full press release can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cost Saving Suggestion

Given that the ICAEW made a loss of £1,909K in 2007, I assume that they are looking for ways of saving money in order to avoid raising my members' subscriptions (oh, my mistake, we are being asked to vote for an increased in subs of 4%).

I note that the accounts state that communications expenditure increased by 71%, mainly due to the provision of Accountancy to all members. I can't see in the accounts how much the figure actually is though.

Given that all the qualified accountants that I know simply throw the magazine in the bin, unopened.

Why not stop sending out accountancy to members?

Thursday, May 08, 2008


The ICAEW made a large loss in 2007

Net result before JDS £1,750K (2007) £5,433K (2006)
Funding of JDS £3,389K (2007) £1,671K (2006)
Net result after tax £(1,639)K (2007) £3,762K (2006)

The result is particularly poor given that income increased from £63,615K in 2006 to £69,052K in 2007, a rise of 8.5%.

It seems that "A substantial part of the Institute's expenditure was as a result of investment in people, with headcount increasing by 9.8% to 594".

Why do they use the Nu Labour word "investment", when we all know that they mean cost?

It is a sad indictment of our profession that a council and board of over 100 accountants cannot at least manage to break even.

I assume that we may expect further increases in our subscriptions.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I see that The Guardian has taken a snide sideswipe against accountants, in its coverage of its row with Tesco over tax avoidance.

"As is often the way, the tax had no sooner been introduced than some companies engaged smart accountants and lawyers to work out ways of avoiding what parliament had clearly intended....

But fleet-footed accountants and lawyers were still nimbler, knowing that UK tax legislation is rarely retrospective. A casual reading of the Treasury's repeated statements on SDLT avoidance can leave no doubt as to its frustration at the lengths to which companies would go to outwit the law - and at the sums draining away from the exchequer as a result.

Seemingly, the negative subliminal message being drip fed by the Guardian is that "smart" accountants are rather "devious" and are depriving the government of its "legitimate right" to collect as much tax as it wants.

The Guardian needs to remember that, as I have said before on, tax avoidance is not illegal; we all avoid tax each year by using personal allowances.

The need to avoid tax would be considerably reduced if Brown simplified the tax system.

The ICAEW needs to launch a counter offensive, and counteract the Guardian's negative spin about our profession.