Revenue gets pat on the back[QQ] Is there a note of complacency in announcing that the Revenues’ e-filing website has been stuck by further delays? (Accountancy Age, 8 June, page 1) It could be said that it is not unheard of for commercial software to experience delays and bugs, including the bespoke taxation software written for accountants and tax consultants. Congratulations to the Revenue for its useful website and for its commitment in recognising the benefits of e-filing in the internet millennium. John Brudenell-Leech, Tunbridge Wells Time to stop subs increases I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. As such I have just been asked to vote on yet another increase in subscriptions. Enclosed with the proxy voting form was an abridged copy of the income and expenditure statement for the year ended 31 December 1999. The increase for members proposed was in the region of 20%. With inflation at less than 2.5%, and there having been increases for every year I can remember without exception, I had a quick look at the I&E statement and gleaned the following. From the subscription increases and net new members joining CIMA a staggering #1.3m extra income was generated from recurring sources. At the same time, non recurring income (income from services (whatever they are) investments etc) dropped by #812,000. A net increase in income of #480,000. At the same time council and secretariat, and administrative expenses (at the top and bottom of the I&E statement respectively) grew by #491,000. Perhaps CIMA should take a leaf out of its own book and look at ways of controlling expenditure rather than the soft option of constantly hitting out at members, students, associates and fellows’ pockets. When I was at college and was talking with one of our senior lecturers about my chosen career path, he told me that he used to be CIMA. He resigned because every year they put up the subs and all he effectively got (besides having formerly being able to use FCMA after his name) was Management Accounting. ACCA went down the same road. I do not wish to see our institute become a poor relation, neither do I wish to sponsor a fat cat. Come on CIMA – make this the last increase for three years. I’ll bet they cannot and will not do it! Name and address supplied Just scrap NI contributions One obvious way to reduce the burden of tax administration is to scrap national insurance – or to have everyone pay the current #2 per week class 2 contribution. In most small businesses I deal with, the yield from national insurance exceeds income tax, but now more detailed records need to be kept for the three tiers of thresholds. The rules are different – and a major factor in the introduction of the controversial IR35 – but the money all goes into the same pot. For a PAYE inspection, two different inspectors are sent out to enforce the separate sets of rules for money collected from the same source. It’s the equivalent of the old outside toilet. Howard Royse via e-mail Amazed at Hercules’ cost I was intrigued at the #1.3m valuation of the RAF’s Hercules mentioned at your article in (Accountancy Age, 8 June, page 1). Was this judged at cost, book value, market value or replacement cost? In another life before picking up the auditor’s quill, I was one of the RAF’s pilots charged with the task of collecting one of 66 or so new Hercules aircraft (not warplane) direct from the production line at Lockheeds in Marietta, USA in 1967 and flying it over the pond to Cambridge for UK modifications before it entered RAF service. At that time it was rumoured each new Hercules was bought from the US Air Force at a cost to the UK government of US$1.2m in a monumentally discounted job lot. Today’s replacement price would be in the order of US$15m to US$18m depending on the optional extras although the old model has now been superseded. There are plenty of Hercules on the second hand market though, but the price would be a lot more than #1.3m. Clive Wilkinson, Oxon Editor’s note: The #1.3m valuation used by the National Audit Office was the net book value. Chickening out of publishing results Mark Wellby, finance director of The British Academy, says accountancy firms should publish audited annual results, inter alia, ‘because there are no good arguments for not doing so’ (15 June, page 1). Here is one. Under British law, only limited companies are required to publish results, so mind your own business. Perhaps Mr Wellby would like to let Accountancy Age have his private bank statements for publication. After all, there is no good argument for not doing so. Neil Welch, Isle of Wight 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 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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