Saturday, 16 February 2008

Let them eat cake! (but you may have to pay the Man)

Glenn Jones (with whom I'm currently working at Madgex) has a nice post about how the taxman is graciously letting the company off the burden of paying tax on a couple of cakes that a purchased each Friday.

It makes you wonder if anything safe from Mr Grey and his PF2345 (Cake) form. The same issue cropped up with Friday Pizzas at
Micromuse. Because someone in accounts was worried about the tax implications, they were stopped. A few weeks later it was realised that Friday lunchtime was the only time some of the developers, testers and support guys met face to face. It had an unbelievably bad effect on the communication within the company.

If anything like this is left up to the accountants they want to can it immediately. The trouble is that it's difficult to quantify the benefits of gestures such as cake or pizzas.

Also at 'muse there was the case of the Mont Blanc pens. Pens given as presents to commemorate 5 years service - which in this industry is a lifetime. The trouble was that the pens were showing up in people's wage slips. Yes, someone in finance really did think that it would be the done thing to charge the tax on those pens to the recipient.

Naturally on principle some 5 year veterans told the bean counters to stick their pens where their solar powered calculators didn’t work.

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