Don’t rule out emotions[QQ] I am amazed at Ann Baldwin’s suggestion that we should forget emotional intelligence (Talking your way to the top, page 16, 2 November). I agree it is not the cleverest technicians who are the most successful professionals.

Good communication is a key element on the road to success – however, it is vital to know what you want to communicate, who to communicate to and when to communicate to best effect.

This is where emotional intelligence comes in:

– Being aware of yourself and others

– Influencing with integrity

– Knowing what you want

– Expressing yourself in a meaningful way, increasing motivation for yourself and inspiring others.

Emotional intelligence can be developed, skills learned and attitudes adopted. There is plenty of research to indicate emotional intelligence accounts for 85% of the difference between average and outstanding performers.

Carol Hobbs ACMA, MIM

Can reform really work?

I read with interest Peter Wyman’s article on tax simplification (Why should we tear up the tax rule book, page 16, 26 October) and agree with his call for a radical rethink of the UK tax system.

What puzzles me, however, is the logic used to justify the abolition of corporation tax and its partial replacement by higher rates of VAT.

I would hardly expect the small minority of companies who bear their own VAT to make much difference to the impact to the ultimate consumer who would suffer from a rise in VAT rates.

A vast majority of companies are hardly affected as their VAT registration requires them to charge output VAT to customers. It is wrong to imply the consumer would be shielded from the effects of VAT rises because these would ‘be absorbed by the now tax-free companies’.

As an alternative, there may be a case for a non-deductible sales tax to be levied on inter-company sales as a substitute for additional revenue, but this would obviously distort economic activity by encouraging huge unitary conglomerates to engage in internal trading at the expense of smaller companies. Such a scheme might also incur the wrath of a European Commission keen to preserve the purity of the VAT system.

These observations highlight the difficulties in implementing any tax reforms. The present system does attempt to create an equitable balance.

Any attempt to chop bits out requires a careful analysis not only to see that benefits from the excision but also who inevitably will bear extra tax to compensate for the loss of revenue. If the additional burden on a specific taxpayer as a result of paying extra VAT is too great the system will not be politically acceptable.

Hamish Russell CA

Do you know how to search on the web?

Anyone searching on the term castigator deserves everything they get (Getting the wrong end of the whip, Taking Stock, 9 November).

If you really want naughty sites try searching for ‘doors’.

At Sterling Consultancy, we support accountants in practice. My colleague manages our website which includes checking search terms.

Apparently, we have a visitor who searched under the term ‘busty accountant’.

It is bad enough someone is searching for busty accountants, but more worrying that we came out so high on that search!!

Barbara Riley (busty accountant – I wish), Nottingham

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