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Quietly reading my paper in a local pub when I heard someone who has recently become self employed talk to "the man in the pub " seeking his wise counsel. In the space of about 10 minutes totally wrong and possibly fraudulent advice was given to this poor mutt

My natural missionery zeal was to interfere and correct the situation but then I thought NO let the poor sap act on the advice and possibly come to me or another accountant when HMRC kick him in the groin

Was I right or wrong ??


Replies (18)

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By Tax Dragon
16th May 2019 10:19

Defo right. PNL was sitting at the table on the other sider and would have had to step in to correct you, the man in the pub, had you interfered... :-)

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By andy.partridge
16th May 2019 10:19

Depends on the advice. Do tell.

Not sure HMRC will kick him in the groin, but it was an oft used tactic at HM Customs & Excise.

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
16th May 2019 10:44

Had a contractor client in yesterday ... “I’ve been speaking to the guys in the depot ... they do X ... ... but I think they’ve got a dodging accountant ‘cos there was lots of winking & laughter”.

Me: “well we’ll not be doing X”
Client: “I thought you’d say that, that’s why I pay you I suppose”.

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By Sarah Saunders
16th May 2019 10:48

I get a richer class of client so it tends to be the man in the golf club (or once the man at the House of Lords!), the advice seems to be of a similar quality though!

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By Roland195
16th May 2019 11:29

Are you to concerned how you will meet your AML reporting requirements here? You clearly must report this conversation between two unidentified parties as a matter of urgency.

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Replying to Roland195:
By SteLacca
16th May 2019 11:43

Unless he's a professional beer taster offering tax advice, he didn't come across this information in the course of work, and so the only report needed is to the RAT group on Facebook on the quality of the ale.

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By johnhemming
16th May 2019 11:52

For some time there has been a question as to whether free advice from someone who holds themself out to be expert in an area can give rise to a duty of care and potentially, therefore, give grounds for an action in negligence and there is, of course, the regulatory aspect of tax advice and AML. However, offering advice to people in pubs is probably one of the more dangerous ways to correct those in doctrinal error and I think, therefore, discretion is called for.

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By Glenn Martin
16th May 2019 15:58

I am low rent compared to you guys.
Last week I was going between clients and dropped into McDonalds for a coffee where I heard "2 men in McDonalds" giving some top advice.

They seemed to be 2 road workers advising the apprentice how to go on:

1. Always clock on before you go to the toilet to read the

2. You don't get questioned about sick leave until you
have 15 days off. So just self cert yourself for 2 weeks,
it just like extra holidays.

3. On Sunday one of us turns up and clocks everyone in,
then clocks everyone out at 1. Its double bubble on a
Sunday so you get 8 hours without leaving the pub.

I am suprised they did not hear me as i was almost choking on my drink trying not to laugh. But it is amazing the views some people have on what is acceptable. This is also probably why roadworks take twice as long as they should with this work ethic.

Thanks (8)
Replying to Glennzy:
Hallerud at Easter
16th May 2019 15:32

What about shovel leaning/hanging over barriers, or is that lesson 4?

The accepted rule is one goes into the hole with the spade and 3 to 4 hang around the edge of the hole talking presumably about the hole.

My favourite is of course get all the cones out for say a five mile stretch and then four to five work around one small hole, especially in the summer.

Thanks (4)
Replying to DJKL:
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
16th May 2019 16:07

The main road into Manchester City Centre from the south is a very busy 2 lanes-on-each-side road (is that a 2 lane or 4 lane road?). There is some roadworks going on at a roundabout, but that's another story (worked on for about 6 months, company went bust, took another few months for council to get a new contractor ... still ongoing ...). There is a lot of property development going on by this road, which has meant shutting 1 lane into the city for the last 9 months with the usual cones. The cones are there because the workmans metal fences are taking up the whole pavement, to the kerb. The fences are up to the kerb because the workman need about 200yd stretch of pavement 12 feet wide in order to store about for bags of cement.

The other week it took me 1hr15 to drive about 100 yds. Seriously.

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By legerman
16th May 2019 14:49

Recently completed a tax return for a subby with a 1k rebate and he told me, bloke at work knows this guy who can get me 2.5k rebate, can I have all my paperwork back?

My reply was yes no problem but if he can get you back more than I can then he's fiddling it. Fortunately I think he saw sense and gave me the go ahead to submit.

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Replying to legerman:
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
16th May 2019 15:01

legerman wrote:

My reply was yes no problem but if he can get you back more than I can then he's fiddling it.

Hows that for confidence in your own ability!

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By David Gordon FCCA
17th May 2019 10:45

You were correct.
We earn useful fees from clients who first take advice from "The man in the pub", or in my case the "Snap-on" tools salesman. A lovely kind man who subsequently upped sticks and opened a girlie bar in Thailand with a Lloyds bank manager (Secret) partner. Yes, they called it the "Lloyds Girlie Exchange Bar".
I am not laughing I acquired some half-dozen useful clients this way.

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Replying to David Gordon FCCA:
By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
29th May 2019 11:24

David Gordon FCCA wrote: my case the "Snap-on" tools salesman. A lovely kind man who subsequently upped sticks and opened a girlie bar in Thailand..

Snap-on tools R Us?
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By grantth
17th May 2019 12:06

Next time it happens, suggest helpfully to the newly self-employed individual that for reliable advice, and to avoid trouble with HMRC, he should talk to a good accountant. Then give him your card.

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By Tom 7000
18th May 2019 13:59

Opportunity to sign up a new client missed.....


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