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Showing most liked content since 09/24/2017 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    To all my dear friends here: hang in there! We are *almost* done with the extensions. Remember to take charge of your clients (not vice-versa): this tax return business was not new this year! They've known about it since January 1st. If they are slug-a-beds about getting you information, then they may go past the 10/15 deadline. Yes, we all want them out of our hair. Better to go an extra week and keep our blood pressure down. If the lolly-gaggers go elsewhere next year, celebrate. If they come back, they now know you won't pull an all-nighter to save *their* bacon and they'll either pay (and not grumble in your hearing) or they'll get their stuff in earlier next year. Do your own returns first! Then go back to the stragglers. I mean really - *where* are they going to go this late in the year? The only ones who might take them are likely not competent (or they'd be busy themselves). Pull the phone plug out of the wall, shut the email program, and do spot checks. And just so y'all know, I'm instructing myself first and foremost here. They do say that the best way to learn is to teach... Hugs (non-RitaB-back-40-style) to you all!
  2. 8 points
    The light at the end of the tunnel, IMHO, is when the IRS stops making our offices the stopping point for welfare checks. Nobody should ever get more refund than they pre-paid in taxes without going to a government agency and qualifying for free money. It infuriates me, can you tell? But, I smile and do the Dorito Dance with every big (honest) refund because that's my job. I have a few substantial LLC single owners who routinely use their business account for personal use. I am now insisting they hire a bookkeeper or I am no longer doing their tax returns. Fortunately, I have enough clientele to make these demands. The risk to us tax pros is too great these days, to play around with Sch C's and refundable credits. No refundable credits on this particular return, but I recently had a Single Owner LLC tell me that she did her own taxes this year. She just used MY work from last year, took my numbers out and plugged hers in. I have been doing her taxes for at least 15 years. My only response was, "Good luck with that. I hope it doesn't blow back on you." I felt like I was robbed at gunpoint. Oh, and the best part? I was dropping off the Easter Cantata booklet and CD so she would sing in the choir with us. Praise The Lord! ermagerd
  3. 8 points
    Jack, sometimes you are too absolute. I feel strongly about this as well, but man, you don't know the circumstances. I do, and I will not share them. The client came to me for representation before the IRS. It is my job, should I choose to accept it (do you like the Mission Impossible reference?), to explore every avenue available to this client who wants and needs to clean up his tax situation. Based on where he is, and what he earns in his business, I don't see him paying off the balance owed before the statute expires. That is one of the things the IRS looks at when considering an offer. If I can get him on a payment plan on the 941 taxes (both trust and employer), there will be nothing left to pay the personal taxes because of the balance being so large on those taxes. That is just the simple math. So I am looking for a light at the end of the tunnel to give to both the IRS and the client so they both can see that someday down the road, this taxpayer will be back on track and paying his taxes regularly and properly. If the client never sees an opportunity for this to go away, they will not have the heart to work toward that goal. If the IRS does not see that keeping this guy in business is the best way for him to pay them back, they will not work with him. They will take what they can and leave his life in shambles. This is my job, to mediate between the two and find a win-win for both that will in the long run get them both to a spot where this is behind them. So yes, he does deserve consideration for an OIC. He may or may not get one, but he is entitled to the opportunity to explore the option. Tom Modesto, CA
  4. 8 points
    This part, at least is simple - you come here to the forum, and read what all *our* clients have done to mess up their (tax) lives!
  5. 8 points
    After working 20+ years for a firm/self-employed and working long hours, that time finally came to an end this past summer, I longer work past 4pm I put myself first, managed to lose weight, spend more time with my family, the only person I baby sit is myself.
  6. 7 points
    I wish you great success in restoring your lives in California. It is so sad to hear of such destruction and loss of life.
  7. 7 points
  8. 7 points
    Eh, I will charge what I charge, they'll just like it better after a few days on the Struggle Bus.
  9. 7 points
    How about the client who comes to you each year with totaled information on charitable donations as well as other itemized deductions - and in going through the details lumps cash and non-cash donations together as one amount. You question further, and it turns out he segregated the cash from the non-cash but the non-cash was less than the threshhold to require 8283. So I advised him for next year to itemize the non-cash on a listed schedule, and takes pictures of the items before he donates them. The next year he brought me a photo of stuffed black garbage bags, and reminded me that I told him "to take pictures of what was donated before giving it away".
  10. 7 points
    Husband can draw on wife's account and continue to draw after her death, but all things being equal (they are not equal if he's not FRA) he gets about half of what she gets. As you say, no big whoop. We can NOT tell family members that mommy got married or any other information we collect to prepare her tax returns. Circular 230. Hopefully, his lawyer will tell him that and charge him for an hour of his time, too.
  11. 7 points
    Sorry you are having to deal with this family drama. Unload on us any time if it helps. That's never a waste of time and part of why we're here.
  12. 7 points
    Well said! I have one that made two appointments three and four weeks ago and cancelled them at the last minute and finally said he would just drop off his stuff today. I am not in the office today so don’t know if he did. In any case, he will miss the deadline. Another client called yesterday and said he would overnight his Mother’s info (she is now in a nursing home) but said he understands that I will not have that return done by the 15th. There are probably another half a dozen that will go beyond the 15th. Not my problem.
  13. 7 points
    Drat! I thought I'd moved far enough South that civilization couldn't locate me down here on Pigeon Roost Pike (had to move-Possum Grape got "gentrified"), but that dang 21st century keeps creepin' in. A while back some lost sheep carrying a sheaf of QuickBooks papers strayed in; said a big-town CPA threw 'em out, and would I save them from the 10-15 guillotine? Sacrifice is demanded here since I've never done a QB case before (hard to believe, I know; I keep up-to-date {own a cell phone}). They printed out the whole set of books, I located the P&L, and it all seems laid-out okay: sales, m'dse. cost, utilities, insurance, supplies, etc. except for one little item ($40K) oddly entitled "Ask The Tax Man" (I anticipate a bit of diggin' on that one). This has apparently been goin' on for years, so I don't think I'll go back later and unearth any buried bodies. Anything else I need to know? The last "real" set of books I saw was in 1975 - a big cloth-bound ledger held together with those screw-together steel extensions (if you recognize those you're a bit long-in-the-tooth too - sure was fun trying to balance those columnar pages). Now I got to figure out what to charge - this case is different from my usual clientele. Here's a more typical one - the story was dug up from ten years ago (I just love to read my own stuff....) "...a feisty gal came in and set down a 13 gallon garbage sack full of tickets, bills, receipts, scribbled notices, and a half-eaten sandwich; asked "How much for income tax?" While ordinarily applying scientific business metric platform-pricing analysis, I had unfortunately loaned the bathroom scales to my cousin last week. Forced to rely on keen business acumen and shrewd Kentucky windage (she's got 11 rent houses), I hoisted the sack, gave it a good theatrical lookin'-at, and (trying to sound assertive) declared "500 bucks." "Done!" she said.
  14. 7 points
    Bart: You might have made out better with the scales. But don't make the mistake the general store owner made one time. A customer came in and said she needed a whole chicken. He reached down into the ice chest behind the counter and put one on the scale that weighed about 3 lb. She thought for a minute and said "that might not be big enough". When he put the chicken back in the ice chest, he realized this was his last one. So he swished it around in the ice, placed it back on the scale, and slipped his thumb on the scale so it read about 4 lb. She thought for a couple of minutes and said, "I'm still not sure 4 lb is enough for my family - I'll just take both of them."
  15. 6 points
    Some time ago I prepared taxes for a hairdresser who owned her own shop, and had another hairdresser pay her "chair rent". She didn't really have much in records to support either revenue or expense but we did the best we could with a bank account. I have 6-7 other cosmetologists with varying income so I have somewhat of a grasp, but certainly not as much grasp as would have been the case with adequate records. Most hairdressers are better cosmetologists than they are record-keepers. She ended up owing some money. She then proceeded to order me to remove revenue until her tax liability was reduced to zero. Nope. Not this guy. Bye Bye hairdresser who owns your own shop and turns in only $150 a week. She did have a child. A friend of hers told me earlier tonight that she found another tax preparer, and that she ended up with a $4000 refund. She and all her friends think her new tax preparer is a genius - and I am not very good at all. Grrrr! I have found out that the IRS is much more interested in penalizing preparers than they are going after the taxpayers themselves when cheating is determined. A couple years ago, a colleague of mine called his congressman whom he personally knew. In a day or two the congressman wrote him the intent of the earned income credit was to redistribute income and that tracking down cheaters was counter to their purpose. The interception of violations is basically now upon tax preparers. From the mass numbers I've been made aware, a good 25-50% of EIC recipients are not due, similar to my experience above. Aggressive claiming of social security numbers not entitled, social security numbers for sale on the black market, phony relatives, etc. In my county, the existence of 2-3 audits per year would scare off most of the cheaters. It is amazing how much they know about earned income credit. Yet the 8867 places all the burden on the preparer where in almost all instances, the preparer has no vehicle to be aware of violations. You've heard all this whining before, of course. Most of you have experienced it first-hand. But where is the light at the end of the tunnel?
  16. 6 points
    /s BUT JUDY: The IRS gives us so much and asks so little. Besides along with "other sites" they are always with us, that is why you and Eric protect us and are always watching .... Be well and enjoy before the snow flies!
  17. 6 points
    I think my marriage marred me, too.
  18. 6 points
    So heartbreaking for those who lost so much, we wish the best for recovery and rebuilding of lives.. I have a friend in Santa Rosa who was caregiver to her Mom who passed away a week before the fires. My friend had do an immediate evacuation and was only able to leave with her dog, it was that urgent. Everything was lost. Imagine trying to evacuate her Mom who would have been immobile. Her passing was a blessing. When a firestorm is heading your way, immediacy is the most important realization to respect. As a former firefighter I cannot stress enough the importance of preparation. After 9/11 people were preparing for another attack possibly chemical or biological. Many people were putting together "GO Bags," packed with your own personal list of items, ready to grab at a moments notice. You can Google "Go bag" and get a comprehensive list of items.
  19. 6 points
    Thanks for this information and reminder to us all. Every part of the country has the possibility of some disaster, natural or human induced. We here are all grateful for your safety and wish you well in the difficult return to 'normalcy.'
  20. 6 points
    I'm blaming the weather. My clients have been the worst this year. I think it's been too nice out here in western NY and they still think it's summer. They have been slow, and lazy. I think when it's cold out, people around here are more likely to tend to their paperwork. Or maybe I'm just a little more grumbly-mumbly lately......
  21. 6 points
    I have a "retread" client couple (I prepared returns for them for 8 years. I did their 2016 return) that chose in 2015 to allow her daughter to do their return. They received a notice from the School District Tax department. They called asking for my help with 2015. I suggested that they go back to the person that prepared the return. (I can fix the problem with a simple letter) I told them I could help them fix the problem, but there would be a charge for my work. I have not heard a word from them since. The daughter has no clue how to fix it. Seems that the Struggle Bus has more passengers.
  22. 6 points
    This week I've been dealing with some kind of rocket scientist from CA who is the son in law of a client. The client is an 83 y/o retired teacher from CA, a real hipster from the beatnik era and a Haight/Ashbury veteran. A few years ago she decided to help out her handyman who is nearly 30 years her junior by marrying him (and swears me to secrecy) because as she says, he has no SS. I asked why does he have no SS? Well, he was in jail for 21 years and he now gets paid off the books. She wants to file separately, so I explained she will pay more in taxes. She didn't care, she just wants him to get her SS when she dies (she only gets $4,600/yr). So the son in law comes east to visit his kid in college and stops by my client's house and looks at the tax return as he will be taking over her finances because she overpaid her credit card by $2K. She now confesses to him and he calls me, livid that I did not tell the daughter (I'm also a contingent trustee for client). I told him I advised my client of the consequences, especially for estate planning and that she should consult a lawyer. So the rocket scientist says he will contact his lawyer because I was negligent. I don't think so, my obligation is to the client, besides, he doesn't scare me, I've stared down danger bigger than this pencil neck geek scientist. All in all, I find this comical, now the client thinks she better get a quickie divorce, a happy ending in my opinion. Again, sorry for wasting your time.
  23. 6 points
    Be careful with these clients who just give you contribution totals. One of our clients was randomly selected for a line by line audit as part of the National Research Program. She has pretty good records of how much cash she put in the church plate every week, but the auditor won't accept it. We all know the rules about having proof for ALL cash contributions. About $6k deduction down the drain. Interestingly, he did accept the undocumented Goodwill donations of $350. Some auditors have their own entertainment value. This one has been in our office several times, puts his lunch in our frig and warms it in our micro, and dug around to find the Keurig cups. FDNY, CA is a community property state. I don't know where the marriage took place, or if your client owned the rentals before the marriage. This could be something a quickie divorce won't cure. Your client needs an attorney.
  24. 6 points
    It's perfect weather here with beautiful days and crisp overnight temps. I love this time of year and am not looking forward to winter.
  25. 6 points
    She'll let you live - THIS time. But if @RitaB offers you a hug, watch out!
  26. 6 points
    I wish so much that folks who don't know how to use bookkeeping software just wouldn't. My new guy with the retail store sent me an income statement to use for estimated tax payment purposes. Me: Is sales tax included in your gross sales? New Guy: I don't know. Me: See this sales tax in the expenses? Sales tax is not deducted as an expense unless you've included it in your sales. New Guy: Wow, I think you're right. Why is there?
  27. 5 points
    rec'd email today from IRS for my PTIN some items done this week finished my CPE renewed my CPA license through 12.31.2020 renewed PTIN for 2018 new website published
  28. 5 points
    15 years ago if our office went up in flames - we were basically out of business forever. We had EVERYTHING in physical form and we had about 30 filing cabinets worth of stuff. Today it all fits on a zip drive and I have 2 real time copies and a bi-weekly backup. A ton of our stuff is scanned into and operated off of a remote office environment via another firm. Amazing how things have changed. When it snows here and I stay home from work - I literally can do 100% of what needs to be done and no client would know I'm not in the office. If I need to switch laptops in an emergency - it would take me <30 minutes to up and running.
  29. 5 points
    All at Medlin, and our families, were unharmed during the recent fires. How prepared are you to bug out? How prepared are you to start over with nothing but what you carried on your person? --- One of our friends had literally no time to escape, beyond getting self and pets in a vehicle and driving through smoke and embers. Find out how to sign up for your local emergency notification system. Do not depend on getting a phone call, or an wide cast alert on your cell or landline. Be proactive and sign up for something which your authorities will be able to use. Be prepared for no notice at all... If you have a locked gate (such as in a rural area, at the end of your driveway) make sure the authorities know the access code (do not use a key lock!). Just as authorities cannot make you leave, it appears they do not have authority to cut locks to warn you to leave. Check your insurance. Your agent will be (should be) glad to go over scenarios with you. Don't forget to consider your temporary housing needs, and such housing may be some distance from your usual residence. In the case of our fires, so much housing was lost, and so little empty housing exists, many will be forced hours away from their residence area, and likely their place/area of work. --- Personally, we left the area under advisory evacuation, and due to the air quality. A few tweaks are still needed to our personal process, but we were close to being fully functional while leaving in minutes. Our main risk is earthquake, which is not so much a bug out, as a how can we get by for a few days on our own for all needs. Evacuating is not something we planned for. We had supplies ready, and were able to pack easily, but a few things were not as easy to get as they should and could be. If we simply had to escape, we would have been fine, though not because of planning. Lesson noticed and learned...
  30. 5 points
    I vaguely remember an instructor saying the forms are stockpiled in a warehouse someplace (Ogden?) and have never been seen by human eyes.
  31. 5 points
    Haha, that's funny because we don't operate like that around here and some members haven't even visited or read the post yet. You'll have to get used to us being overly generous with advice and the fact that we do continue to discuss topics and offer opinions on subjects that interest us even if the original poster has received valid answers. It only ends when the last member who wants to comment has done so. Beside, I made some .
  32. 5 points
    This happened here over the summer. Some stoned guy without a shirt, stole a tractor and drove it to town. He was asking people for sandwiches in the Walmart parking lot. Report: Shirtless tractor driver yells for sandwiches Man's driver's license had been suspended
  33. 5 points
    I don’t know why driving a tractor to Walmart is funny to you people. My sister would do it in a heartbeat. And my sister in law drove one to the store to get cigarettes when she was 14.
  34. 5 points
    I agree with Judy. 2 likes and 2 laughs is more akin to an electoral vote rather than a popular vote. Don't anybody dare respond to this post. It is only in jest and it will be deleted if Judy deems it necessary.
  35. 5 points
    I'm with Jack. No info to third parties. Anytime or for any reason.
  36. 5 points
    I never send any taxpayer information to ANY third party. Period. I will send it to the taxpayer, then they can pass it along to whomever.
  37. 5 points
    If this were my thread, my answer would be: Because hobby. I hate these "businesses" that lose money year after year after year and I fired two this summer. I know, I know. IRS is not going to get them. I don't care. My farm business makes money. Sure enough. If you're a grown @$$ man losing money on a farm business, you're lying. Either it ain't a business or you ain't losing money. I told one that his farm was a swimming pool. You're trying to write off your swimming pool. Sorry, Edsel, I too am off on a rabbit trail. I don't see any way to minimize depreciation unless you say 50% of the use is personal or something. Have him drive it to church or Wal-Mart. All I can come up with.
  38. 5 points
    Tom, I wish you luck. Personally I applaud you for advocating for your client & doing whatever you can to help him, rather than attacking him or rubbing salt in his wounds. Your approach is the mark of a true professional, IMO.
  39. 5 points
    Sounds like your client is the poster boy for the joke about the farmer who asked his neighbor what he would do if he won the lottery. His answer - "Guess I'd just keep farming 'till I lost it all."
  40. 5 points
    My dentist is also my client! I loaned him the money to buy his practice when he graduated from Dental school. He is fantastic at dentistry, but cannot balance a checkbook. I told him I will handle all the "money" and "taxz" stuff for him and he can handle all my dental work. We have a pact--he does the teeth, I do the books, and no one gets hurt.
  41. 5 points
    And a lot more to charge them!!
  42. 5 points
    It's kinda funny now. After 24 years of this. We do have the same clients. I even had a pair come in yesterday who DIY'd and wanted me to affirm that they understood the problem IRS had with Turbo Tax. Uh, no, you are not even in the same ball park. I pointed out three errors, one of IRS and two of theirs, without taking a breath, and they had no idea what I meant. Wanted to know what I would charge to fix this mess that Turbo Tax made. (That @#$% Turbo Tax). I just smiled and started walking them to the door and said, "Oh you can probably handle it. I'm covered up right now anyway. Take a shot at it and come back if it you really, really feel like you need me. Psssshhh, you got this." They can't handle it. They don't got this. Not in a million years. It was like the Karma bus let me drive for ten minutes there. I figure I'll see them again next week. Which is more convenient for me anyway.
  43. 5 points
    Thanks Lion, she lives in MA, with 2 properties in CA, she needs to re-do everything, and not on legal zoom which is her avenue of choice for legal matters.
  44. 5 points
    Handyman may have sold your client on marriage as getting SS when she's gone and not an issue to her or her family. But, now he's her husband, and without a solid pre-nup or a will revised after the marriage date, he will get her house and bank/broker accounts and jewelry and.... Then, that son will have big legal bills to try to salvage things for her own children and grandchildren. Yes, keep us posted on the next episode. Same bat-time, same bat-station.
  45. 5 points
    It kind of sounds like the days of yesteryear.....the year, that is, when the board was shut down because they didn't like comments in regard to the issues that we all had that one year in particular when it was a fight every time we had to file a return!!!!! The board just vanished...poof...no word....just vanished! Oh, yes, I do remember well!
  46. 5 points
    Years ago, I used to buy paper at Costco. It's just not worth it due to jams etc. Especially, since Staples and Office Depot have name brand high quality paper on sale constantly. No more jams or feeding problems
  47. 5 points
    The IRS can't match K1s. They tried once and it was a spectacular failure. I doubt they've had the resources or the will to try again. So if you want to amend, do it. And if you want to wait and hear, that's up to you. I would never file a second return. I only do amended. And you don't have to wait 6 weeks. It will take the IRS 6 weeks to even look at it. Amended returns take months now.
  48. 5 points
    Went for a bike ride early this morning in the dark and nearly froze my.......fingers off. Shorter days are no fun, but fall is beautiful.
  49. 5 points
    Christian, since only one of them (your client) is a Virginia resident, the Virginia instructions state " If you and your spouse filed a joint federal return, but only one of you is a Virginia resident, the resident must use Filing Status 3." Filing status 3, is of course, married filing separate. The New Jersey instructions state "If during the entire tax year one spouse was a resident and the other a nonresident, the resident may file a separate New Jersey return." So they can file jointly on the federal and yet separately on the states. Calculations of income and deductions might become a bit hairy (think higher fees!) but should not be so very complicated.
  50. 5 points
    The point is, all those emails will be in one spot, and not your regular business account. You are still gonna get them, but it is like setting up a Junk Email account for them to go to. Tom Modesto, CA
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