Our 2020 Evil Quiz lived up to its reputation. Noone managed to answer all the questions correctly. To put you out of your misery, here are the answers. Our winner will be added later. 


  1. Q: In respect of what tax, does Finance Act 2020 define the word 'thing'?
    A: Digital services tax. It is Finance Act 2020 s43(6)(a).

  2. Q: Which television presenter lost his IR35 case and was held to be employed by ITV? He told the tribunal that he was the best television presenter in the country, who could do the job better than anyone else. He considers himself the market leader in the field.
    A: Eamon Holmes. The tribunal case is Red, White and Green Ltd TC 7603. His modest comments are quoted at para 52.  

  3. Q: What two changes were made to the currency in the first two months of 2020? One wished peace to all nations. The other showed a ship used to attack the French.
    A: The 50p Brexit coin and the new £20 note. The coin bears the inscription “peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”. The note shows The Fighting Temeraire, a painting of 1838 by J M W Turner. The ship was used to fight at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

  4. Q: What tax change announced in January 2020 will save taxpayers a maximum of 36 pence a year?
    A: The widening of the 19% starter rate band for income tax in Scotland from £2,049 to £2,085. This is a maximum of £36 on which the tax is 1% less.

  5. Q: Which popular entertainer surprised his fellow entertainers by hugging US president Richard Nixon in 1972? In February 2020, it was disclosed that he did this was because he thought the President could get him off a tax bill.
    A: Sammy Davis Jnr.

  6. Q: What was £1 million in 2008, £2 million in 2020, £5 million less than three months later, £10 million in 2011 and then fell back to £1 million in March 2020?
    A: Entrepreneurs' Relief.

  7. Q: According to Deviant Behaviour magazine in July 2020, what tax service is offered in Italy by 48 providers for $5,000 a go?
    A: Shooting a tax officer in a car park. The fee goes up to $100,000 for an assassin capable of making it look like an accident.

  8. Q: What figure in 2020 was budgeted at £1,000 but proved to be £32.79 million?
    A: The amount that Captain Tom Moore hoped to raise for the NHS by sponsored walking round his garden.

  9. Q: To which post was the appropriately named Keith Weed appointed in July 2020?
    A: President of the Royal Horticultural Society. His mother’s name was Hedges.

  10. Q: Which Labour finance spokesperson, appointed in 2020, has a name which is an anagram of DANDELION SEEDS?
    A: Anneliese Dodds, shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  11. Q: Which former king fled his country in 2020 to avoid being questioned on financial matters? His son-in-law is serving a prison sentence for tax evasion.
    A: Juan Carlos of Spain.

  12. Q: Why did Kate Forbes deliver the Scottish Budget speech 11 days before she was appointed as finance secretary?
    A: The finance secretary Derek Mackay was obliged to resign the previous day for sending inappropriate texts.

  13. Q: According to the Association of Accounting Technicians this year, what do Mick Jagger, Eddy Izzard and Janet Jackson all have in common?
    A: They all studied accountancy at some point.

  14. Q: What 5p charge is to be doubled to 10p in April 2021, according to a government statement in August 2020?
    A: Carrier bag charge.

  15. Q: A Tribunal cancelled a tax penalty imposed on Prubjit Manku because he was not speaking to his wife. What was the penalty imposed for?
    A: Not paying the High Income Child Benefit Charge. He did not know his wife was claiming child benefit.

  16. Q: For what categories of worker did TSB offer mortgages in July 2020 of a maximum of £4.50?
    A: Furloughed workers. They regard such a worker as having an annual salary of £1 and lend a maximum of 4½ times earnings. They amended this soon afterwards if the worker could provide a letter from the employer.

  17. Q: What do the following have in common: skywriting, lion taming, plastic straws and menthol cigarettes?
    A: They were all banned.

  18. Q: How many days separated the announcements of the government’s Better Health campaign to get us to eat less, and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to get us to eat more?
    A: Nineteen days, from 8 July 2020 to 27 July 2020.

  19. Q: What category of 7,000 soldiers were told they would receive an extra average of £850 a year and minimum of £12 if they earn more than £28,443?
    A: Posted in Scotland, to cover the cost of higher income tax rates in Scotland.

  20. Q: Which classical musician who died in 2020 was often in trouble with Inland Revenue because he was paid in cash? He played the lute and pocketed the loot.
    A: Julian Bream.

  21. Q: Which pop musician who died in 2020 had problems with Customs and Excise over VAT? When bailiffs called over unpaid congestion charge, he poured petrol over their car and set it alight, for which he served a prison sentence.
    A: Wayne Fontana.

  22. Q: Cecilia and Florence came to the UK in 2020 on a five-year contract to do some boring work for a government-backed scheme. What is it?
    A: Boring tunnels for HS 2 rail link. They are tunnelling machines.

  23. Q: Which former Chancellor of the Exchequer had to pay an extra £48,000 in June 2020 because of an additional tax charge he introduced?
    A: George Osborne. He bought a second home for £1.6 million which was subject to the additional 3% stamp duty land tax that he introduced for second homes.

  24. Q: What residence record was set by Vera Bunting on 22 September 2020?
    A: She became the first person to live at the same address for 100 years.