Thursday 3 February, 2022

Two-camera selfie

One of those silly experiments that photographers do.

I was going to call it “bicameral selfie” but then realised that wouldn’t be quite right.

Quote of the Day

“Always tell the truth, and people will never believe you”

  • Ronald Knox

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Grateful Dead | I Fought The Law | Live


Vivid evidence of my misspent youth. One of my favourite numbers by my second-favourite band. Note how long it takes them to get going. They were the first band to really understand tech. A colleague of mine who was the entertainments officer for the Students’ Union at his university in the 1960s managed to get the Dead to do a concert in a local football stadium. He was astonished when the 40-page contract arrived beforehand. It specified that an acoustically optimal location in the arena should be roped off for Deadheads to make bootleg recordings.

Long Read of the Day

The Mafia hires good accountants

Bracing blog post by Cory Doctorow about a strange paradox. On the one hand, journalists pay increasing attention to the giant consultancy firms, fancy law firms, economists and other elite enablers who pimp for kleptocrats and oligarchs in London and elsewhere. But on the other hand the accounting profession itself is rarely named when scandals erupt. Which is a mystery, since the keeping and auditing of financial ledgers is so key to corrupt practices. Strange, isn’t it? In fact the only accountancy firm I can remember being destroyed by a scandal is Arthur Andersen, the firm that did the Enron accounts.

Great read. I’ve often been puzzled about how partners in the big four auditing firms have escaped gaol.

Chart of the Day

Source: Axios

Crypto and capital gains tax

Interesting snippet spotted in the nearest thing the Financial Times has to an agony aunt.

 Q:I jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon early on for a bit of fun and without particularly high hopes. I have benefited from a price rise post-lockdown and now have a fairly high-value portfolio. I’ve used my holdings to fund some one-off purchases and exchanged between currencies. I recently received a letter from HM Revenue & Customs claiming that I may owe tax. I’m worried I’ve done something wrong. If I have never cashed in my portfolio, am I still liable for capital gains tax on the potential sterling profit on my original investment?

A: in most cases where someone has invested in crypto assets, those “assets” will be subject to capital gains tax (CGT) when sold, if the gain realised is above the £12,300 threshold.

CGT is due as a result of disposal, so if you’ve made no disposals, no CGT would be due. However, if you have exchanged crypto direct for other goods, or even to acquire new cryptocurrency, then it is likely that you will have made some disposals and potentially triggered CGT.

HMRC’s approach is to apply the same rules as for shares and equities. The tax authority has been securing data in relation to coins and tokens held by individuals from a number of crypto exchanges, and it is this information that it is largely using to identify holders of crypto and sending them letters.

So if you have cryptocurrency (I don’t) be sure to keep good records. And if you do decide to cash in, remember to set aside enough to cover the whopping tax bill!

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