Over the moon

Miss Piggy and Kermit

‘’Pet’, the international sheeperstar and online sensation from Lochside Ullapool, has emphatically denied that her new found celebrity status will change her in any way.  In a statement read out by her agent to the awaiting throngs of press and paparazzi, Pet was keen to stress that she will be maintaining her simple crofting ways and lifestyle, from a recently acquired villa in Monaco… Pet herself could not be present in person to tell us more as she had earlier been seen driving to Bono’s house in a Lamborghini to discuss plans for a forthcoming album, film premier and autobiography.’ (The Ullapool News 6 February 2015)

In case you haven’t heard, I’m famous.  I’m now Tolley’s Taxation Awards’ Tax Writer of the Year 2016.

To tell the truth, even though I was one of the four short-listed for the award I didn’t think I’d win.  The award ceremony was held on 19 May at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane.  It was like the Tax Oscars – rock band, celebrity host, big frocks, red carpet.  That said, when the (relentlessly) irrepressible celebrity award-ceremony-host Gyles Brandreth called out my name and I somewhat sheepishly went up to collect my gong, I didn’t break down and sob uncontrollably or thank everyone including my mum and the dog (and the dog’s mum).  That may be because there were no speeches.  In spite of this attempt to keep to schedule Gyles had to get his celebrity-award-hosting skates on as there were 14 awardees and, like Cinderella, most people had to leave by midnight.

The only other award I’ve ever received is the Sixth Form Prize for Good Work. As my reward I chose a paperback copy of the Life and Death of Lenin by Robert Payne.  I was going through my Marxist revolutionary phase at the time and modelled myself on Rosa Luxemburg.  I can’t say that anybody in Selby noticed apart from my BF who was modelling herself, rather more successfully, on Twiggy.

The award trophy was too big for my handbag (and modesty had prevented me from bringing along a suitcase and some bubble-wrap) so I gave temporary custody of it to Jose Jimenez who had come with me to the ceremony.  Jose, who valiantly tries to keep my nose pressed to the writing grindstone, recently referred to me as a ‘writing machine.’ I decided to take this as a compliment as Jose isn’t normally given to sarcasm.

This month the writing machine malfunctioned so while I was waiting for it to reboot I sipped from a porcelain cup of kombucha (the tea of celebrities) and wrote this limerick:

‘There once was a lady tax writer

Whose deadlines got tighter and tighter.

She tweaked, then re-polished

What she had not demolished,

Shrieking “Tax is such fun” (you can cite her)’.

“Where’s the tax angle in this blog?” I hear you cry.  “Has fame gone to her head?”  “Is she never going to stop talking about herself?”

Well, being the consummate tax professional that I am, I have taken time out of my busy schedule opening the Orange Tax Handbook and closing it again to say a few well-chosen words about the taxation of awards such as the one I received.  Those words are that they’re not taxable.

To quote Miss Piggy “I’m in the middle of planning my next big move. It’s either going to be a movie, a TV show… or I might just have a nap.”

As you can see, fame certainly hasn’t changed moi.


Tax lawyer specialising in business tax, SDLT and VAT

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