Before you dismiss the notion of linking tax and fun as the ravings of a lunatic, please give me a few lines why really tax is not the sole preserve of bean counters number crunchers and boring people with adding machines but it is a central part of human life. As Benjamin Franklin once said there are only two things that are certain in life ; death and taxes. The growth of Government and the need to fund its many activities means that tax is a constant feature of our adult lives. Even if as children, we are only dimly aware of tax, our first pay packet which contains a gross figure and then significant deductions before you arrive at the net pay shows how important tax is.
But fun? Well yes all the intricacies of human life from cradle to grave are contained within our tax code. Our somewhat schizophrenic attitude to entertaining manifests itself in the complexity of how it is dealt with. Our ability to endow certain products with special qualities such as pasties means that they have a specific exemption from VAT. The notion of the Englishman’s home is his castle surely must play a part in the capital gains tax exemption on one’s home. Previous riots over food, poll taxes, stamp duty on newspapers etc. have all played a part in the fashioning of the tax system which bears down much more heavily on certain items than others.
So why is fun important? If you present items in a fresher and more interesting manner it is likely that participants will remember and absorb more of what you are looking to say. Jeremy Mindell works on the basis that an enjoyable presentation is a more memorable and effective one. He also believes that understanding why a particular tax has been formulated in the way it has leads to a greater understanding of the way it is intended to work. A mishmash of seemingly random and incongruous rules become clearer when one detects a logic, however warped, behind it.If you wonder why certain items are taxed much more lightly than the equivalent items for no rational reason, there is often a human story behind it. Ever wondered why it is much more difficult to get a deduction for capital items than revenue. Well the answer is found in the origins of the income tax which was supposed to be a temporary one. So you would not get a deduction for something which was of enduring value which should last longer than the projected life of income tax.
Income tax was actually abolished in 1816 but eventually come back again 35 years later
Finally there is an answer to Benjamin Franklin about what is the difference between death and taxes. Death doesn’t get worse every time Parliament meets!