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The devil in me

The devil in me

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Most clients are great, but not all. That's life.

I have one who thinks accountancy and tax services are a commodity and tries to treat me accordingly.

Despite my best efforts he has a high personal tax bill and I can picture him hopping mad. The image makes me smile. Is that so wrong? 

Replies (14)

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By Jane S-D
11th Jan 2014 16:02

No, I've one like that too!

Thanks (1)
By ShirleyM
11th Jan 2014 16:18

Poor chap! (not)

There are worse things in life than earning lots of money and having to pay tax on it.  :)

Thanks (5)
By nigelburge
11th Jan 2014 16:45

We all have at least one!

"I have one who thinks accountancy and tax services are a commodity"

Yes, aren't they just the worst sort. And they always whine about their fees, not to mention their tax bill.

I must admit that when the first question that a new prospect asks is "how much will this cost me", I always quote a larger than normal fee to compensate for the inevitable aggravation that will accompany them.

Thanks (1)
By andy.partridge
11th Jan 2014 16:56

But do you derive any pleasure from their high tax bill?

Or is that really just me?

Thanks (5)
By Paul Scholes
11th Jan 2014 18:27

Oh yes

Yes, I've had several over the years and I have actually been known to punch the air!

With a professional hat on, this is not good news, which is probably why I don't have any like this at the moment, but, it is still nice to get a plonker, derive pleasure in giving him (and it has always been hims) grief plus a high tax bill, before telling him to go elsewhere.

One of the rare pleasures in our biz :-)

Thanks (3)
By taxhound
11th Jan 2014 18:57

Large VAT bill...

A client moaned to me about the size of their VAT bill recently.  I congratulated them on having such a good quarter - same goes for income tax....  You have to earn it to owe the tax.

Thanks (2)
By frustratedwithhmrc
11th Jan 2014 23:13

I've had one like that in the past

He believed that any tax bill was too high, so when he ignored my advice on dividends and got hit by a huge bill for self assessment (which was my fault obviously), I did smile inwardly.

Disengaged him about 3-years ago for being abusive to my bookkeeper.

Thanks (1)
12th Jan 2014 10:37

Only £1m?

We had someone on here once that claimed that his firm was paying £5m a year in tax. How we laughed.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Mr_awol:
By Red Leader
13th Jan 2014 12:27


It's never made me pleased but it has made it very difficult to resist saying "If you want to pay less tax, you should earn less".

I think it's dangerous personally when one ends up thinking like that about a client. You could end up telling him what you really think about him. Safest to disengage.

Thanks (2)
By andy.partridge
13th Jan 2014 12:51

@ Red Leader

It's even more amusing that he doesn't have the funds available to make a timely tax payment.

My private laughter acts as a valve so the client does not get the full flow of my bile. I agree, if the pain persists the better longer term remedy is to disengage.

Thanks (2)
13th Jan 2014 14:01

playing the devil's advocate

Definition of capitalism - "an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state"

Like it or not accountancy services are a commodity, no business person would be that good if they didnt try and get the best price for their goods and services.

Why any accountant would take delight in a client paying loads of tax is beyond me.  If they are that bad, tell them to pay someone elses wages!

Thanks (0)
By chatman
14th Jan 2014 11:57

If they earn the money they owe the tax.

I had one who was so unhappy with his tax bill he went off to a firm who said they could reduce it massively. Shortly afterwards, I got the work dealing with the subsequent HMRC investigation.

Thanks (3)
By leicsred
14th Jan 2014 12:55

I tell them

If I don't like them and they complain about the tax, I tell them I have a foolproof way to reduce your tax, I will bill you for your profit, hey presto no tax - no one has taken me up on it yet.

Thanks (1)
By angusnicolson
14th Jan 2014 12:58

Wave idiots farewell

Small-sized client asked for specialist tax advice to mitigate a continuing liability.

We advised how to save £100,000 a year in tax and third-party professional fees and probably the same again in internal staff costs.

They did the very thing we told them not to do and it will now cost them £100,000pa.

Did the accounts, saw the outcome and resigned.  It may have been £40k in annual fees, but what a relief to get rid of them.

Thanks (0)
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