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Sep 11, 2012, 09:33 AM
Authors : Chris Williams
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Post date : Sep 11, 2012, 09:33 AM

If asked to sum up the weekend's CIOT conference in one word, it would have to be "pedestrian" given the amount of walking involved and the plodding start.

Luckily, the pace picked up.

Delegates were able to hotfoot it home happy by the time Philip Ridgway had put on his hobnail boots to stomp through – and sometimes on – stamp duty land tax, avoidance and the tax illiteracy of the more mulish sections of the press, and then, most heinously of all, accuse Baker Tillly's David Heaton of being a Yorkshireman.

Between times, we were reminded of the basics of inheritance tax and incorporation on Friday afternoon, and were allowed an untaxing first session on Saturday before Mike Thexton revealed just how desperate he is for public opprobrium by admitting he leads a double life, dodging penalties by weekday and dishing them out at weekends.

All together now: "The referee's a VAT-man!"

Mike's presentation went down so well that the crowd even forgot to boo at the end.

It was perhaps as well he had departed for a far-flung footie field as Mercia Group's Mark Morton was clearly unafraid to tackle 'robustly' FA2012. If some of his tackles were not over the top, he was happy to slide in with both feet.

But along the way, Mark ripped through the defences of the Act (the FA shield?) and set up quite a few scoring opportunities.

Then wideman Pete Miller got stuck in around the box, despite earning a yellow card for a typo: a "times" instead of a minus sign, suggesting over-keenness to abandon negative tactics and get some crosses in.

Pete's direct approach paid off as the crowd saw its route to promotion of patent- based SMEs made clearer by a few welcome points.

We were promised insight into the second round of qualitative easing, but instead of QE2 we got a retired merchant navy officer who used to work for Cunard on its flagship.

Sunday took us into extra time after the usual round of expert analysis.

Philip Ridgway punctuated his SDLT talk with a few references to tactics that go beyond the spirit and laws of the game, before setting up David Heaton for golden goals worthy of any midfield share-schemer.

After another hard-fought victory, team manager Anne Fairpo commented, "I couldn't have asked any more of my team. They all done brilliant and gave 110%, which was a great relief after the way the press never have them a chance.

"We've got a great chance of going all the way to Cambridge, and maybe even Nottingham, next year. On this sort of form, I wouldn't rule out challenging in Europe."

Has anybody seen my dog? I think it's swallowed the bank statements again.

Chris Williams is director of taXwords ltd


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