Like most other people in my business, nearly all things in my office are done online. The tax returns have to be submitted by FBI (file by internet); we can read the Revenue manuals online, download their booklets, read the professional magazines and have website communities of fellow professionals. In other words, we have access to every possible resource of information without resorting to the printed word. Then, if we need something printed, then we print it ourselves,
Many readers of this piece will recognise this; some will be fellow tax professionals and others will have found their business lives completely changed or based from the start on information technology.
This leaves me with a problem though. I have sets of the bibles of UK direct tax, Simon’s Taxes, and of the more recent indirect tax regime, De Voil. They constitute a very large number of loose leaf volumes of many pages in plastic covers and they have not been updated for six or seven years. Actually I had them as hand-me-downs when I started out on my own. They were surplus to requirements from an office that was closing. I could not have afforded to pay for the updates, and although some case law commentaries might still be relevant, the legislation has changed so much especially with the on-the-hoof goal-post moving of recent times. I hope that is not a surfeit of metaphors.
The books have to go. I need the space and have to think what to do. Are they of any interest to anyone? Shall I take them down the tip, take the pages out of the covers and recycle the component parts. Can I sell them on EBay – six years out of date? I guess the tip is odds-on favourite. Any offers – free to a good home?