Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
30th Jul 2021
Will her Love Island outfit be tax-deductible? I cannot see it achieving duality of purpose for office use - not any office where I have ever worked - and not much warmth or decency.
23rd Jul 2021
Only the Queen can "Reign it in" - the rest of us have to settle for "rein", particularly those that have a horse.
15th Jul 2021
Why was the bar cross? Perhaps because the crossbar had been split (into two words).
1st Apr 2021
I am waiting for the AI CustomerServiceBot that will make the ApologyBot unnecessary.
27th Nov 2020
Perhaps accountants have the most reason to swear. For many years I have been reading the "Any answers" requests for advice on how to deal with PITA clients.
You have my sympathy. I am a chartered engineer and I spent almost all of my career in the scientific civil service where those I worked with were invariably polite, even when expressing extreme annoyance (not with me).
4th Aug 2020
"the government have kept everyone on the dance floor to fight another day" is a fascinating mixed metaphor that makes me wonder what dances you go to.
8th Mar 2018
It seems that the knights remained within the letter of the law but are now being pilloried for - perhaps - stretching only the spirit of the law. On the published evidence, they have not broken any laws, unlike Russians and East Germans. As Mr Fisher suggests we may need better written laws.
The current furore does seem another example of the press building people up and then, when that no longer sells papers, knocking them down again.
How can the World Anti-Doping Agency legislate for dual-use medicines? I do not suffer from malaria but I do, before physical activities, take quinine because it removes the symptoms of a muscle disorder. The quinine is on prescription for that specific purpose. It allows my muscles to work normally, but if I was thus able to pedal my bicycle so fast that I won a medal would that make me a drug cheat?
In case any of what I have said implies I am happy with what is alleged to have happened, I am not. I offends against my British sense of fair play, level playing fields, straight bats, etc. Alas that is not the way the world works.
21st Apr 2017
I submitted an appeal that began:
"I have submitted this appeal because defects in the Government website prevented me from signing in before the deadline to submit the tax data that I had prepared for my tax return.
I tried to login to the Government website at about 00:30 on 31 January 2017, using the same username and password as last year. I then discovered that the website had instituted additional identification procedures, which malfunctioned, and I was left locked out for 24 hours. This is confirmed by my first attachment - a copy of the screenshot that I took at the time."
The screenshot had the calendar and clock superimposed on it so that there could be no doubt that it had been taken before the deadline. My appeal then continued with details of further difficulties in contacting the HMRC helpline and then in using the "Verify" system.
My appeal was accepted and the £100 penalty was cancelled.
HMRC's calculation based on my SA return showed that they owed me £0.15 - much the same as happens every year. I would add that I had completed a spreadsheet of my data as it had come in during the FY so all that should have been required was half an hour of transcription.
6th Jan 2017
I received what I see as an even more pointless email from HMRC on 4 January:
"Our records show that you had nothing to pay on your tax return last year. However, you still need to send us this year’s return to confirm your liability, even if you think that there is nothing to pay."
That has been the situation for many years - either nothing to pay or, at most, a few pounds of payment or refund. But, every year HMRC, persist in asking me to prepare and file a pointless SA return.
16th Apr 2016
The effect of marginal gains is greater than the article states
My degree was entirely in Engineering so I will question the article's mathematics instead of its rationality. (My degree is so old its certificate is written in Latin)
Each marginal gain will apply to the initial value augmented by all the preceding marginal gains, in much the same way as compound interest. The result of 30 gains each of 1% is thus
(1+0.01)^30 = 1.348
The overall gain is thus 34.8%, not 30%.