Lovers of the soap Coronation Street may be interested to learn that an accountant from Coventry has been providing ITV with expert tax advice for one of its current story lines.
The plot involves an HMRC investigation into businessman Lloyd Mullaney, the co-owner of Street Cabs taxi firm.
In order to produce an authentic script, ITV approached Brian King, a partner at the accountancy firm of Dafferns. As King explained, ITV gets bombarded with emails if anything is wrong with the script and the producers of Corrie wanted to make sure they had an accurate understanding of the way HMRC conducts its investigations.
Viewers will have seen actor Craig Charles becoming extremely stressed as he tries to make sense of the shambolic filing system and provide the Revenue with the information it requires about the firm’s accounts.
King pointed out that this type of investigation can go on for months and it can become increasingly difficult to cope with the day-to-day running of a business. Every businessman dreads this happening to him and the underlying message behind the storyline is that it is vital to make sure paperwork is kept in good order.
In an interview with the local Coventry Telegraph, King said his experience with show business has had an amazing impact on his social life. People have suddenly become interested in accountancy, he said and many want to know the backstage secrets.
Although a lot of people decry soap operas, they do try and put over topical issues in a way that normal people can relate to. HMRC is currently running campaigns to put an end to tax evasion and it will be interesting to see how this storyline plays out.