Archive for September 2011

IR35 only collects £220000 in tax

The Professional Contractors Group (PCG) has called on the government to explain why IR35 was retained after it yielded just £220,000 in the last tax year.
HMRC admitted, in response to a freedom of information request, that IR35 status enquiries fell from 158 in 2006/2007 to 23 in 2010/2011. The tax yield also highlights a dramatic reduction from more than £1.9m five years ago to £219,180 this year.
John Brazier, managing director of PCG, referred to IR35 as an unwarranted measure introduced by the previous government. He said: “These figures confirm what PCG has always said, that the tax yield from IR35 is minimal and that the stress and damage done to the UK’s 1.4m genuine freelance businesses is completely unnecessary.
“It is now time for the decision makers to explain more clearly to freelancers and the public why the risk to the exchequer would be simply too great if IR35 was abolished or suspended," Brazier added.
As directed in the Budget this year, the administration of IR35 is being reviewed and it is hoped that the government will address the issue later in the year.
Chris Bryce, PCG chairman and IR35 Forum member, added: “He [the Chancellor] has a great opportunity in the November statement to release businesses from this ridiculous burden and free up HMRC resource to work on better things."
IR35 status enquiries: 6 April 2006 to 5 April 2011
HMRC confirmed that the number of reviews opened in the last five years, where the Intermediaries Legislation (IR35) was identified as a risk, was:
  • 6 April 2006 to 5 April 2007: 158
  • 6 April 2007 to 5 April 2008: 104
  • 6 April 2008 to 5 April 2009:   25
  • 6 April 2009 to 5 April 2010:   12
  • 6 April 2010 to 5 April 2011:   23
The Revenue also provided the tax yield received for the requested years:
  • 6 April 2006 to 5 April 2007 = £1,906,619
  • 6 April 2007 to 5 April 2008 = £1,730,640
  • 6 April 2008 to 5 April 2009 = £1,430,358
  • 6 April 2009 to 5 April 2010 =    £155,502
  • 6 April 2010 to 5 April 2011 =    £219,180
HMRC is expected to continue investigations but possibly taking a more targeted approach, focusing on 'high risk' areas.

Full article at:

Pre registration VAT

Great advice on pre registration VAT:

Tax return filing penalties

HM Revenue & Customs recently issued the following as a reminder of the late filing penalties for Self-Assessment Tax Returns for the 2010/11 years and onwards. Accountants and Tax Advisors should take note of the initial £100 penalty applying regardless of whether the taxpayer has paid their tax on time or not!

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is reminding individuals and businesses about new Self Assessment penalties for late returns and payments, which come into effect this autumn.

The changes will affect Self Assessment returns for 2010-2011 and all future financial years.
The new penalties for late Self Assessment returns are:
- an initial £100 fixed penalty, which will now apply even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time.
- after 3 months, additional daily penalties of £10 per day, up to a maximum of £900.
- after 6 months, a further penalty of 5% of the tax due or £300, whichever is greater; and
- after 12 months, another 5% or £300 charge, whichever is greater. In serious cases, the penalty after 12 months can be up to 100% of the tax due.

New penalties for paying late are 5% of the tax unpaid at:
- 30 days,
- 6 months, and
- 12 months.

Interest will also be charged on top of these penalties. Further information on the new penalties is available from the HMRC website at

Employment law

I wanted to share an interesting document produced by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC). It is a timeline looking at forthcoming employment legislation for the next four years, calculating the cost to employers. Given the squeeze on public sector jobs, it’s more important than ever that the private sector creates jobs. However, the BCC argues that the tremendous costs involved in complying with red tape are holding back growth and job creation in the private sector.

The Government has said that it wants to reduce the burden posed to business by employment legislation. It has committed to reforming the Employment Tribunal system, a necessary step which we support. But the reality is that there is a raft of UK and EU legislation coming down the pipeline which will add further costs and complexity to the already hefty burdens posed on management.

In 2012, the Parental Leave Directive, Pensions Reform; National Minimum Wage Increase; in 2013 Gender Pay Reporting under the Equality Act; in 2015 Shared Parental Leave – to name but a few. And the cost? According to the British Chamber’s calculations, the cumulative cost to business of this legislation between 2011 and 2015 is £22.17 billion.

European debt crisis needs miracle

Europe is currently facing a huge debt crisis which threatens to undo financial stability across the Euro Zone, with probable run-on effects for the US and other continents.

Greece has racked up an enormous sovereign debt - because the government has too many credit cards - and without a solid financial backbone investors are avoiding the nation.

As this situation worsens while France, Germany and other EU members propose a bailout package, the entire European continent faces infection as Greece drags down the Euro currency.

The classically-styled poster pictured above is interesting on three levels:

1) It signals God/Jesus/Michael Jackson pushing their hands down to earth to pray for Greece's financial recovery.
2) The hands are upside down, hinting the world is 'screwed'.
3) It represents an accurate line graph of the world's finances since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

graffiti art

I'm a little sorry I missed this show. It might have been very enlightening. 
Or not. 

Mister Linky is sleeping

The new blog

Welcome to our new blog.

We hope to be able to use the blog to post interesting and useful stuff to help our clients grow their businesses and so achieve their maximum potential.

Harris & Co

My First Art Exhibition Press Release

I'm a street art blogger and internet troll who criticises other people's achievements to make myself more credible to a readership who wants everyone to Leave Britney Alone. I don't feel I have any talent or interest in street art or blogs or the cosmos.

So I've decided to become an artist to attain the authenticity I manufacture by surrounding myself with people who actually make art/creative commodities/tangible relationships.

I watched Exit Through Santa's Sack and saw this French genius, Mr Brainwash, go from being a lowly amateur film maker to LA art sensation overnight.

So I decided to do the same. I found a website called Market-O-Matic, which lets you create a press release to publicise your first art exhibition. Excited.

Below is what I wrote. I think it accurately describes the conceptual plain from which my creations emanate. The artworks are in progress.

Please email all supporting commentary and donations to acidmidget[at] Thanks.

Work of Post-Art in the Age of Artificial Reproduction

The mind creates, the chaos profligates. In the trans-gender hallucination, art objects are resurrections of the imaginations of the mind -- a mind that uses the chaos as a parallax to deconstruct ideas, patterns, and emotions. With the evolution of the electronic environment, the mind is superseding a point where it will be free from the chaos to transcend immersions into the ejaculations of the delphic hallucination. Work of Post-Art in the Age of Artificial Reproduction contains 10 minimal dhtml engines (also refered to as "shopbots") that enable the user to make fellated audio/visual compositions.

measuring chains, constructing realities
putting into place forms
a matrix of illusion and disillusion
a strange attracting force
so that a seduced reality will be able to spontaneously feed on it


Acid Midget's work investigates the nuances of modulations through the use of jumpcut motion and close-ups which emphasize the Artificial nature of digital media. Midget explores abstract and ex-tangible scenery as motifs to describe the idea of cyber-intuitive hallucination. Using dysfunctional loops, cathode rays, and neo-fascist images as patterns, Midget creates meditative environments which suggest the expansion of space...

<-- Obligatory ascii sig. Repeat until desired cyborg effect is achieved. -->

/u[0]{)]|]]-] -------------/u/u!@#$%^~!@#$%^;*()) __++_)(*;^%$--------/u/u!@#$%^~!@#$ %^&*())__++_)(*;^%$--------/u/u!@#$ %^~!@#$%^;*())__+, etc., etc.

<-- End obligatory ascii sig. --> 

Image source.

A Short List of Strange or Confusing Things I Saw in Bangkok

After having spent so much time in Nepal and feeling like I finally developed enough of a grasp on language and culture to be able to basically understand what was going on around me, my day in Bangkok left me feeling totally adrift and confused:

Wait, what?

This is just a shop with some monks sitting out front, right?

Oh god! He's not reeaaal! It's some sort of terrifying lawn furniture!

This man appears to have a gremlin on his belt

And I hope this is his pet

"So! Hot"

Not so strange, I just like the facial expression

Ditto with this rakish devil, although the top hat confuses me a little bit

Your average, boring industrial canal scene

Wait, what the heck is that? Its like five feet long and moving quickly and I still have no idea what that is oh god its swimming toward the boat

19-08-2011g, originally uploaded by Anat ofri.

Vipassana Meditation Comics

From August 17th to the 29th, I was taking a meditation course near Battambang in Cambodia. This is the brand of vipassana meditation taught by S.N. Goenka - there are similar meditation centers in Nepal and India, and also in Texas, but I needed a change of scenery. I was taking the long route back home to the United States. 

I was there for ten full days, and I spent about 12 hours a day meditating alongside 120 Cambodians and five foreigners. We were under a vow of silence that included a ban on reading, writing, or making eye contact with the other meditators (we were occasionally given the opportunity to ask our instructors questions, but I found them difficult to speak to and I usually declined).  

I learned a lot, but I found it very difficult and stressful, especially towards the end of the course when I began experiencing some anxiety. The main thing I learned after ten days was that experiential insight meditation is not bunk; there is something very powerful and potentially useful there, but it requires more dedication and mental stability than I can spare at this point in my life. After it was over, I went to a computer and typed up notes nonstop for about six hours. I also sketched some Vipassana Comix, which I think give a general impression of my experience.

The comic below details the evolution of my ability to meditate through the course, symbolized by the size and clarity of the thought bubble that contains the word विपश्यना (vipassana). Of course, other random thoughts started cropping up as well, from cravings to the mundane to the weird and random, and I did my best to put them aside: 

Some notes about the meditation course and the things I did to occupy myself during the short breaks between meditation sessions:

In vipassana we learned to feel sensations on the surface of our skin, sensations that correspond to positive or negative emotions. We would scan the entire body from top to bottom, starting with the top of the head:

Looking down as if from above

But we were supposed to view these sensations 'equanimously,' meaning that we do not react with craving or aversion to them. This is difficult to do if, say, your butt hurts a lot (like it does). Also, when you progress a little more and begin to feel deeper, subtler, pleasant sensations, it is almost impossible not to crave these sensations in opposition to the usual butt pain-type of sensations. For me this lead to craving for not-craving:


We were allowed to speak to our instructors once every few days, and although they spoke English very well I found them difficult to confide in. I think that ideally this sort of course should be taken in a familiar culture and setting:

Rather than quieting down over the long days of concentration and silence, I found that my imagination went into overdrive. Without warning, bizarre thoughts and ideas began to come into my head. A few of the Vipassana Comix I drew as a result are displayed below:

Typical Requirements For Business Loans

Seeking a business loan requires preparation and excellent documentation of your businesses financial health. The following list will help get you started, complete and accurate information will help the lender complete their review with a better chance of reaching approval. Pay close attention to financial projections and cash flow needs, they must be believable and supported by your business plan market assumptions

Proof read your documents as errors will delay review and possible cause rejection. Have someone else review you documents did they clearly understand what you wrote?

I. Cover Letter --States who you are, how much money is needed, what the money will purchase and what results are expected.

II. Business Plan
A. Description of the business
B. History and nature of business
C. Ownership structure. Attach contracts or organizing charter, copies of business licenses, EIN, Resolution/Articles of Incorporation or partnership contracts.
D. Key Management resumes
E. Description of product/service and market place. Including competition, market area, major customers, major suppliers, description of plant and equipment
F. Amount of loan requested. Specific dollar amount and purpose of loan, use and benefits, amount of owner’s contribution, primary source of repayment and repayment terms, list of collateral.

III. Business Financial Reports
A. Projected cash flow budget, income statement, balance sheet, financial assumptions
B. Business financial history for last three years
C. Tax returns for last three years
D. Itemization of all debts
E. Current aging of accounts receivable

IV. Personal Financial Statements (for each co-owner)
A. Recent personal financial statements, recent
B. Personal Tax returns for last three years

V. Attachments
A. Application forms.
B. Business incorporation documents, partnership agreements, buy/sell agreements, etc.
C. Legal documents: leases, contracts, franchise agreements,
D. Detailed lists of assets to be purchased
E. Summary of market research
F. Supporting documentation, pictures, plans, contractor estimates, customer contracts.

NOTE: Loan Decisions Points – Lenders have several critical decisions points. The information you provide must prove to a lender your ability to accomplish your business goals.  A lender review will include but is not limited to:

• Evidence of your ability to achieve the cash flow budget
• Total amount existing debt and how much more debt will be added with a new loan
• Ability to pay all of your debts and still be profitable
• Personal and business credit history
• Amount you are investing as the owner
• Amount of collateral
• Potential risk of business failure
• New business vs. well established business

Key Benefits of the Business Planning and Budgeting Process

 Hope you all had a great summer.  It certainly was a wet one in the Greater Detroit Area.  The Detroit area is starting to see a little bit of a bounce in the economy from the resurgence of the automotive industry.  This is the time of year that business owners need to continue to focus on the current year but also start thinking about next year.
When we think about the future of your business the Planning and Budgeting Process comes to mind.  Every business has this process, some more formalized than others.   The benefits of planning and budgeting usually will outweigh the effort.  It's like anything else the more you put into it the more one can potentially get out of it.  The following discussion outlines the potential benefits of planning and budgeting.  (Pretty much a list of the typical roles and responsibilities of management.)

Planning in itself forces management to look at the future and anticipate risk and opportunities in the market place.  If one is caught-up in the day to day activity they can miss opportunities in their industry by not paying attentions to trends.  One must also think about how decision you make today will impact the future.

Organizing is a key role of management.  As your business grows organizing it becomes more important in making it operate efficiently.  The planning and budget process helps one to organize economic and human resources in the most financially rewarding areas and efficiently manage these resources.

Controlling involves investigating variances from established targets and taking corrective action.  This activity serves as an internal control over your business and helps identify when you may have to make some changes to the budget because things may not always go as planned.

Coordinating is derived from planning and budgeting.  Planning and budgeting serves as a system to coordinate the activities of the different departments,  bringing them together so everyone is on the same page.

Communication is a byproduct of planning and budgeting.  It forces the organization to exchange information, ideas and achievements.

Motivation can be gained by the planning and budgeting process.  Having realistic goals and the thrill it gives when they are achieved can be a motivating factor.

Clarity is achieved if rewards and accountability are tied to your planning and budgeting process. 

As one can see planning and budgeting incorporates a lot of the roles and responsibilities of management. Look for my next next blog when I will discuss key steps in a formalized budget and planning process.

Thank you for your time.  Please contact  me should you have any questions concerning the above information or if I can assist you with your Planning and Budgeting Process.

Best regards,

Andrew Jordan, CPA, MSF



seen on the side of a garage near the beach - I don't think they want you parking in their driveway.
park your signs below - no charge

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

SAO PAULO: Space Invader

French street artist Invader is up on that ladder. He's sticking one of his famous mosaics on a wall somewhere in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Two guys are looking on. On the left is Mr Brainwash, on the right is Banksy.


Apparently this was Invader's first South American invasion. That's good, because there are enough of his mosaics in Paris to last until the French Ninth Republique. It's about time he ventured out. Like his forebear.

Napoleon Bonaparte.

According to Unurth, Invader used Brazilian tiles to create his alien artworks. I can't imagine he'd actually want to ship French tiles across the world. Profit margins drop, social life suffers.


One of my best memories of seeing Invader's work was a massive piece, like this one here, at Brick Lane in London. I wasn't feeling well at the time. I'd been awake for two days and hadn't eaten and it was late afternoon and my body clock was shlocking to a halt.

I don't remember much about that afternoon, but I remember that black and white mosaic. I wonder how many young Brazilians will see Invader the way I have?

See more Invadeur here.


Space Invader arrested in LA

How Meagan Jacobs wound up 'Round a lazy bend'

Photograph by Lloyd Jacobs

How Meagan Jacobs wound up ‘Round a lazy bend'
by hamish richardson
I tried to paint like other people – more intelligently, more space... then I came back and things started interlocking and I felt happy.”
Round a lazy bend from the South Coast’s Meagan Jacobs is an exhibition by an artist on the move – through time and space, through her own awakening.
You don’t have to know Meagan or her past work to realise the influence of the outback, where her recent travels have taken her, is strong in these latest works. The inspiration she has drawn from the enormous sky, from the sweeping plains, from the far horizon, is evident.
These paintings are big and they are bold.
The scale of things has changed,” admits Meagan. “I just wanted to free up in my painting – keep them all quite loose.
When I first came back from Darwin I was a bit confused about what I wanted to paint. At first everything felt  a bit too much like other people, but I just had to keep painting through, scratching back, allowing things to come to the surface,  then they became my own.”
Meagan’s work has always portrayed a sense of connectedness – the difference now perhaps is the intensity of that feeling within each of these new works.
There is a depth that draws you into the landscape, into the story, into the dream.
My paintings do start off wanting to be realistic – then they become suspended between an imagined place and the landscape I visited.
It’s like recording nature in my own language – weather patterns and how they make their mark on things, the way the water lilies reach down into the river bed, the shadowing... the little things.”
Despite the influence of the desert, Meagan says she can still recognise elements of her beloved South Coast in her latest offerings.
I think now they’re just that combination of the Australian landscape – little snippets of what I see and where I’ve been.
After I finish a body of work I enjoy reflecting on why I do things.”
But it’s the factor of surprise, looming large ‘round a lazy bend, that is at the heart of Meagan’s method.
When I’m painting I’m looking to be lost in the moment - I’m not thinking about the finished work or too concerned with colour placement, I depend on my intuition during this process.
There are beautiful moments when you’re painting like that, then coming back into the studio the next day and think, OK, that happened.
I’ve always loved drawing, doodling. It doesn’t have to mean anything – just the act of making a mark. Now we always have to feel it says something or it’s about something.
But isn’t it enchanting for someone to be able to stand in front of a painting and feel what it brings to them.”

Sydney horse graffiti

(Found at Erksineville, Sydney. Submitted by Jane Dent)

Someone has turned a lifeless splash of render into a galloping horse.

I saw freehand paintings on the streets of Rome, Florence and Barcelona last month and I'm getting right into it. Maybe stencils and posters have peaked and 'street painters' are here to reinvigorate the movement? Could they be more 'authentic' than graff writers?



Yes. Hmm. Yes, I think of Da Vinci's Horse when I look at that wall. P'haps if Da Vinci fried chorizo burger canvas was alive today he'd be a street artist. Straddling the cusp.

Yes. Hmm. Yes.

The first image was generously submitted by Sydney-based graffiti photographer Jane Dent. See more of her work on Flickr and RedBubble.

a bike

you don't need to hop on your bike to read these signs... though some may have done so to find them!

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

Artist: Tristan des Limbes

(Rue Garreau, Montmartre, Paris)

I saw these Tristan des Limbes paste-ups while I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago.

Their simple yet polished look fit well on the aching apartments lining Montmartre's cobbled paths.

At the top of Montmartre is la butte - the hilltop - where I found the Sacre Coeur. It's a beautiful white church with broad views of Paris.

(Place Emile Goudeau, Montmartre, Paris)

I didn't expect to see street art along the walk. Now Acid Midget is a street art blog made in Paris.

And I've half guessed that Tristan des Limbes might translate as "Tristan in Limbo".

Shyeah, you wouldn't think it from looking at these posters. Maybe Tristan watches Salad Fingers too much:


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

SLOVENIA: Miha Artnak makes Layers

 (Via Unurth)

The Miha Artnak makes highly bloggable street art installations in the conceptual vein of Little People.

It's also similar to Banksy's Gaza West Bank stencils, which caused a flurry of wet trousers a few years back. 

They illustrate how urban environments are unnatural and there is magic beneath once the horror of steel and concrete.

The grass is always greener, they say, but I've ne'er seen life richer than life itself. Still; Miha is a romantic, and so am I.

Are you?

Roa mural in Berlin

The good folks at Patricia Never Leaves the House sent over this photo of a recently painted ROA mural in Berlin.

Skalitzers hosted ROA for his first solo show in the city.

I was in Berlin a few weeks ago and wonder how I missed this very conspicuous mural.

Goodbye Winter Blues, oranges, greys, greens, purple......

As I wave goodbye to Winter, pack away the heater and place my knitted beanie back on the top shelf I sigh with relief.  As the seasons change so has the studio - its empty - well sort of.

I am finally done and dusted, all the painting has been completed for the exhibition, some are lined up waiting patiently to be photographed while others are resting at the picture framers.  So today I find myself walking around feeling a little lost??  The urgency of the last few busy weeks has dissipated replaced by an excitement for the future.  What next?  Should I go travel somewhere different?  How or should I change the way I work?

So as the weather warms up and the garden comes alive I guess I will find myself back on the creative cycle once again for now I am looking forward to messing around with some drawing and printing,  playing some music and chilling out.

Things for me to remember.......

Large paintings are difficult to reach when you are short.
Large paintings are difficult to place in back of car by yourself.
Large paintings take alot of paint and alot of framing.
Large paintings are heavy once framed.
Large paintings are worth the trouble.

No title for this painting yet - using this image for invites.

Kansas City Mural behind a Liquor Store