Today as we celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns we also reflect on one of his career choices, one that is very close to our hearts, especially at this time of the year! We do hope that our team manage a wee break to enjoy some haggis as they are all working extremely hard to ensure our clients have their tax returns filed on time.
His various, ill-fated ventures as a farmer had left Burns totally disillusioned with working on the land so, just before his 29th birthday, he decided to put his education to better use by seeking a steady, well-paid job as an exciseman. An exciseman was employed by the government in what today would be HM Revenue & Customs to ensure that people paid their taxes, particularly where related to alcohol. It was not a “trade” that was admired by the common people and it would be fare to say that excisemen at this time were, to say the least, unpopular!
There is some evidence to suggest that he was not 100% comfortable in his profession. This is illustrated in this poem, The Deil’s Awa wi’ th’ Exciseman (The Devil has Taken the Exciseman).