Monday, December 19, 2011
Smell a Rat
I went to the farm to pick up our turkey today. The farmer is a retired accountant. We talked about accounting and taxes since my grandson, of whom I am proud, is to article as a CA. The farmer friend told me how easy it was for an experienced CA to smell a rat in a tax return. It was an interesting conversation. He said, "Once a whiff of trapped rat is detected there is a hyper-vigilance annotated. A stench is often found with a little more time!" As I was driving home I thought about a friend who works for Revenue Canada as investigator. I think the phrase "I smell a rat" arose literally from the vermin arena! It occurred to me as I thought about it, that intelligent assessments, both with taxes and vermin, would use red flags as tip-off to a trapped rotten rat behind a wall. The audit is a bit like pest control! Some I know have a nose like a bloodhound. They get a whiff of the dead rat in the wall between Studs early on. I am a person with anosmia! "I can't smell a thing", I say. "You never do", they say,"'til it's too late." A little later, it's not a whiff, but a stench!" "I pick it up it now," I say. Well, the auditor gets a whiff, and looks forward to find the stench. Moreover,he looks for the loophole below that leads the rat to behind the wall of deception. The pest control needs to quickly find the hole that the rat used to get into the wall in order to plug it so only one rat is rotting. Since they run in and out, this too is a loophole. The more loopholes there are, the more rats we'll find. Rats aren't stupid. They multiply easily and if they live with anosmiacs they will last a long time with their fellow corpses before the stench subsides! Painful though they may be, fair taxes and plugged loopholes lead to an equitable, just and fragrant society. A toast to the CA's and Pest Controllers, cats and terriers!