23 Feb 2000

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ICA members are interested[QQ] Your leader (10 February, page 18) asks English ICA members to take an interest in what is happening on the educational front, before it is too late. It is because members are intensely interested in such matters that the institute was again beaten when trying to introduce options into the examinations. This loss was very much a reflection of the institute's poor attempts at communicating with the grass roots. They never told us who would train the future captains of industry if it were not the Big Five. Why are the Big Five so keen to desert the English ICA? It cannot be because of options, because ICAS does not have them and is unlikely to get them in the unforeseeable future. Given the greed of the Big Five we can assume that it must in some way be related to possible cash savings. Or is it a power struggle? Do they think that they can dictate even more to the Scottish Institute than they have to the English ICA? Accountancy Age should quit insulting us and keep us better informed of what is happening behind the scenes. Jeff Wooller, London WC1 Cash amounts to very little Although Gordon Brown's commitment to cut taxes on charities is welcome, the £350m mentioned does no more than just about offset the withdrawal of tax refunds on dividend income, which is being phased out. Once again there is actually no new money, but just a spin-doctored sound bite. Brian Worboys FCA, Broomfield, Essex Soccer bigwigs remain offside Your report on football's finances ('When the goal of the season is just survival', 10 February, page 10) failed to highlight that football, as an industry, has been damaged by scandals and concerns over its financial integrity and the running of its clubs. There remains widespread concern about the individual fortunes made by, and the conduct of, some of those who own or are in control of clubs/companies. Until the football authorities accept some form of regulation for a rapidly overheating multimillion pound industry, (as recommended by the majority Task Force Report commissioned by HMG), there will continue to be financial scandals to fill your pages. Paul Samrah FCA, Croydon The warm and cuddly Revenue Isn't the comment from the Inland Revenue spokesman on your front page ('Tax returns crisis looms', 3 February) revealing of the Revenue's attitude to enquiries: 'We look at tax returns for two reasons: if something is wrong we would do a full or aspect investigation, or we look at tax returns randomly.' What happened to the warm and cuddly words of reassurance from Tax Bulletin Special Edition 2: 'All enquiries will be conducted in a neutral, fact-finding and non-confrontational manner.' Later the same publication stated: 'The purpose of enquiring into returns is to establish whether they are correct and complete, not to justify a suspicion that they may be wrong.' The author of the Tax Bulletin clearly has a different definition of open minded than the rest of the Inland Revenue, perhaps he could spread the word. David Driver, Penrith, Cumbria All letters should be sent to: The Editor, Accountancy Age, VNU House, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG Tel: 020 7316 9236 Fax: 020 7316 9250 Or e-mail us on: accountancy_age@vnu.co.uk Accountancy Age reserves the right to edit letters for space or clarity. Please include your title, company name and a daytime telephone number.

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