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Playing with Players cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-5255-6950-0
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 324 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-5255-6949-4
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 324 pages
  • Keywords
    • Tax auditing,
    • Canadian tax law,
    • Fictional memoir,
    • Statutory interpretation,
    • Tax evasion,
    • Frame narrative,
    • Literary allusion

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Playing with Players
The Sacred and Profane Meanderings of a Tax Auditor
by Chris Stock

“Every man is entitled, if he can, to order his affairs so that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it would otherwise be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to secure this result, then, however unappreciative the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or his fellow taxpayers may be of his ingenuity, he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax.” With these words, judge Lord Tomlin absolved the Duke of Westminster of any wrongdoing in the 1936 landmark tax avoidance case Inland Revenue Commissioners v. Duke of Westminster—and seemingly dared countless others to likewise find creative ways of reducing their owed tax. But what does this mean for Jack, a tax auditor tasked with enforcing compliance by uncovering unregulated tax avoidance schemes and exploited loopholes? How does the ever-evolving nature of complex tax law manifest itself in Jack’s life and the lives of those he encounters? Jack’s story is immortalized by Alice, an escort and single mother with whom he develops a close bond, in her memoirs recounting their relationship and everything she learned from their time together. Jack’s career is filled with intrigue, confrontation, sex, isolation, and even violence at the hands of those who believe they’re above the law. And yet, in the midst of it all, his life is full of little miracles found in unexpected places.

Chris Stock photo

Chris Stock holds a B.A. in English from Queens University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from McMaster University. Playing with Players, his debut novel, is inspired by his love of wordplay combined with his expertise in tax law. He retired in 2012 after working for more than three decades in accounting and auditing professions and currently resides in Belleville, Ontario—formerly known as Asaukhknosk, “the place where the rushes end”—with his beloved Yorkie, Jack. For more information about the author, please visit


Chris Stock

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