ATT Welcome, May 2013

Happy tax day!

My mobile automatically notified me that it was ‘tax day’. Yesterday, – I’m not entirely sure why it did it but I’m fairly inept with gadgets. I initially hoped it might be some new festival, preferably involving an additional bank holiday but, apparently, this is simply the day when US individual tax returns are due to be submitted. However, it did get me thinking about our attitude to tax – not the nitty-gritty detail of the legislation, but the implicit contract between the taxpayer and the state whereby we are broadly willing to contribute to the structures which support not only ourselves but also our society as a whole. There was something to celebrate about what that contract can achieve – perhaps we need a tax day of our own after all?

Interestingly, that approach to the tax debate was one of the serious points raised by Simon Fanshawe, the guest speaker at last week’s CIOT spring residential conference. There was, of course, lots of opportunity to focus on tax detail over the weekend and you can read more about the various lectures in Rebecca Cave’s Spring Conference article. Inbetween scribbling notes for her article, Rebecca was also reviewing the latest version of Bloomsbury’s Tax Rates and Tables and ATT Members will be receiving their complimentary copy of this book shortly.

I do hope that you’ve noticed that, as President, Yvette Nunn has been taking a leading role in issuing technical press releases from the ATT on a range of topics, including RTI, cash basis and Seed EIS. As a former Chairman of the Technical Steering Group and as a member in practice, Yvette knows the challenges and opportunities involved with technical responses. I’m sure that she’d like to hear from you if you’ve got technical bugbears which you’d like us to consider taking forward – you can contact her on [email protected].

In the quiz in February and March, I asked how many years’ membership of the ATT was required before a member could apply for Fellowship. Congratulations to those who successfully confirmed that the answer was 10 years. Their names were entered into a prize draw and three members have been invited to come along to the Tax Awards dinner as our guests. I’ll report back next month on the event, including the results of the ATT-sponsored award for the Tax Writer of the Year.

Talking of Fellowship, there’s a report from Steve Holden, ATT Fellow, who explains what prompted him to take this next step of involvement with the Association. As the note says, if you’d like to follow Steve’s example, you can find out more on the website:

In last month’s competition, I asked where the six headings came from. There are no prizes for recognising merely that they were from William Shakespeare (although some of you did try this!), but many congratulations to Nicole Stout who was the first to identify which plays and poems they came from.* Nicole has chosen a free place at this year’s Birmingham conference and I’ll look forward to meeting her there as I’ll be acting
as Chairman.

I do hope that you’ve noticed that, as President, Yvette Nunn, has been taking a leading role in issuing technical press releases out from the ATT on a range of topics, including RTI, cash basis and Seed EIS

A group who will have to make sure they submit complete answers to questions are those sitting the ATT exams on 8 and 9 May – at least you will have the bank holiday Monday as an extra day to prepare and, with a bit of luck, you’ll be so well prepared that you can enjoy the sunshine instead! Best of luck to you all!

Even if you’re not a student, there are still forms to be completed as it is annual return time again! Last year, we and CIOT introduced a compulsory annual return process and this has come round again for the year ending 31 May 2013. You’ll see more details about the returns here – this is an easy online process, so please take a few minutes to submit your form before the deadline of 30 June 2013.

Finally, I’ll return to my opening theme with a question with more of a tax day twist as this month’s competion: What’s the tax link between Steve Carrell, Gene Wilder, Will Ferrell and Tim Robbins?

* The answers were (in order) Sonnet 98; The Taming of the Shrew; Hamlet; Sonnet 93; Macbeth and As You Like It.