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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/28/2010 in all areas

  1. 19 points
    New couple came in today to pickup their finished returns and I noticed that the woman had tears in her eyes as she sat down. So I thought, gee, this return isn't anything to be emotional over, but whatever. The first thing the woman asked was where I got my beaded necklace and said it was one of her mother's. It turned out that her mother used to make original bead and stonework pieces and did restringing repairs also. This woman's mother made the necklace that was of her own original design about 30 years ago when I purchased it and the matching earrings. I then told *my* mom this story and she was with me that day and remembers the purchase too! It is the oddest thing that I chose this exact day because I haven't worn it in about 20 years, and this morning I felt compelled to wear the piece with a particular sweater I had in mind, and not a new sweater either. These were happy tears for this woman and made her day knowing that mom's work is still out there for others to enjoy. It's an interesting business we are in, and one never knows who will walk through our office door and into our lives. Whatever the reason for this, I have a happy client and a new friend. Happy Tuesday, everyone!
  2. 18 points
    Long time client. Has a rental, royalties, detailed schedule A, 2106 etc. Because they are friends, we always gave them a discount. Last year, their son talked them into going to Liberty so he could get a $50 referral payment. They also got a very heavily discounted return. Like only $17. But the bill would have been over $550 without the discount. So this year they want to come back. Sure, send me over your 2013 return. Roll the return from my software and put in the numbers from last year so I can roll the return again. Guess what, they don't match up? Why? Well, the rental has NO DEPRECIATION on the 2013 return. I keep looking at the schedule E and I don't see the depreciation. So that $17 return that got your son $50 cost you $1400 in Federal and State Taxes paid in 2013. Now I get to do the amended and the 2014. I bet they never leave again. And there will not be a discount this year. Tom Newark, CA
  3. 17 points
    I've signed a sales agreement for my practice. I have high respect for the guy who's buying my business and I'm thrilled that what I started 27 years ago will continue to grow and prosper, and that my employees will have a great new boss and continued employment. (is everyone singing that Who song in their heads right now?) This coming tax season should be my last full-time one where I work 70 hours and 7 days a week. I still need/want to work part-time for several years to come, perhaps at the wine bar in the town where I live. They've been struggling to find reliable employees who won't steal from them or screw up their inventory. Excited for the next chapter of my life and for being less stressed. I can't believe it all worked out exactly as I always hoped. I'm not much of a planner but I've always been lucky as can be. Don't worry. I'm not leaving this forum. You all (y'all) are like family to me!
  4. 17 points
    Well, today I sold my practice to a very capable young man! I have taken down my shingle and have entered retirement. I just wanted to stop in and say so long for now and to express the deepest sense of gratitude for each and everyone of you and the sense of comradiry we have had here. It is with the most sincere part of me that I say I wish the each of you the very best of luck and success in the days and years to come. May the Lord of all creation be your ever guiding light! And until we meet again.................
  5. 17 points
    So I check with my doctor the other day to find out what's ailing me. He said I had IT'SAD, Income Tax Season Affective Disorder. This malady was first recognized by Dr. Walter N. Cluer of the renowned ATX Institute or the Amsterdam Taxpreparers Xfile Institute in the Netherlands. Some of the indications are, Fear of missing something if you don't visit this board daily. Grief, when opening a tax package and seeing a crumpled, sticky, coffee and spaghetti sauce (or blood) stained documents. Headache, from breathing the odor of tax documents that smell like a pack of Marlboros. Sadness, when receiving a long fax with 50 pages of a year end brokerage statement with instructions. Anger, when realizing you are out of fax ink and machine keeps beeping. I'm sure many of you have other symptoms. I asked if there was a remedy and he said "No bunky, just therapy from a support group". I hope everyone here gets the help they need if they are affected, and it is good to know we have a great support group right here. Thanks to all, I feel better already. Don't let the April fools get you down, they all just realized what date is fast approaching.
  6. 16 points
    Fifteen years is a long time, but 9/11 is remembered vividly by all of us as the most profound and defining day in America's history. We lost nearly three thousand heroes that day, civilians and first responders alike. As a former firefighter in NYC, I know why 343 firefighters and 60 police officers were killed. There is a segment of a bible proverb in every firehouse, "Greater Love Hath No Man" (than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends). Those first responders ascending the towers' staircases knew what their fate might be. But they still tried to get as many people out as possible. That's the job, that's what we do. September 11th is called Patriot Day, a day of Service and Remembrance. A fitting dedication to honor all those lost on that awful day. First responders around the world do their job with unwavering dedication, continuing the legacies of those lost. We will be doing the same as we remember and serve those in need. Please say a prayer for all those who have become sick from 9/11 related diseases. 120 NYC firefighters have died since, and many others are battling for their lives.
  7. 16 points
    Don't let your spouse watch those home improvement programs, you'll be sorry.
  8. 16 points
  9. 16 points
    ...wishing the ATX Community a happy 7th birthday. This site was created April 10, 2007.
  10. 15 points
    New client with five rentals. NOT a real estate professional. Came to me because HER LENDER told her that her 2013 and 2014 tax returns were not prepared correctly. Boy, that is the understatement of my short, illustrious career. Preparer put the rentals on Sch C, charitable donations on Sch C, made up 14,685 business miles, completely omitted depreciation (but the mileage made up for it). Lo and behold, we have EIC! The rentals are in a trailer park. Taxpayer lives in the last trailer in the row. There is NO travel. WTH? I also looked at what the preparer before this inept person did in 2012. She used Sch E. Good call there. However, two rentals, that had been depreciated for 16 years, were sold. Not a peep about accumulated depreciation on Form 4797. Taxpayer had gains of 32,000. Tax return comes out that she made 1,200. Where is IRS? These errors are GLARING. Stuff like this kills good tax preparers. In general, people here are not well off. They go to the preparer they can best afford. They either think all preparers know what they're doing, or they don't care if it's correct. This 2013 and 2014 preparer charged $150. It's worth nothing. She is making twice as much as me per hour and producing crap. How is a good preparer going to compete with these bad preparers if nobody is minding the store? I realize that many of you have all the business you want and/or have clients that will never leave you, no matter what. It's not like that in Rural, TN. C'mon, IRS, help a girl out.
  11. 14 points
    Shout out to my girl RitaB for hosting such a wonderful event. I have considered her a friend online for years, but now she is like a sister. She put on a fabulous lunch for us all and we just had a marvelous time hanging out. Love you Rita....you are the best. In case it does not get mentioned, Possi is the best joke teller of the group. She does accents and dialects for all her characters. Abby is not far behind, he is very fun. Abby is also brilliant and has a wonderful spouse. Margaret can cook! Catherine is sharp as a tack and competitive as all get out. Jack is just like he is online. Edsel is a soft spoken southern gentleman. Gail is very sweet and funny. The back forty has a lot of flowers in it. Seems to be well tended and fertilized. Seriously, the view from Rita's house never gets old. I just kept walking outside to look out over the back 40. Beautiful country to look at. And most important....BulldogTom and Catherine are the undefeated cornhole champions. Thanks again RitaB for hosting. Tom Modesto, CA
  12. 14 points
    My assistant and I went for a doubles massage. My neighbor brought us a little bottle of champagne, so we had some bubbly before going. This gal, Cynthia, has become like a daughter to me. With no job and no plans for a career, I took her under my wing last year. She was even better this year. I'm helping her study for her EA (even though I have no plans for my own) so she can plan her future in taxes. Personally, this has been the most peaceful, joy-filled, and productive tax season in my life. Thank you for all your assistance, all your laughs, and for being my extended office. This is my safe place, right here. What a difference this site makes in my business and my spirit. Saturday, I begin HORSEBACK RIDING LESSONS. Yes, 62 this month, and I'm finally able to fulfill a dream of mine. I am going to a Christian camp so that if I fall off the horse and "wake up dead," they know how to pray me UP! AMEN? I'm a very blessed woman! Thanks, and God Bless y'all.
  13. 14 points
    Since no one responded to the thread for the week of 3/24-3/30, I hope you all like my decision to make @Eric an Honorary Aficionado for putting up with us (probably mostly me bugging him at times), and I'm also awarding him a crown of golden laurels for keeping this forum up and running for the last 11 years. Thank you, Eric! If anyone that has benefitted from this forum has not yet donated to Eric, please consider doing that to help keep the site up and running. If you consider the time another member here may have saved you by providing answers not easily found in other reference materials or sites, or if this site has helped make your season a little easier or more profitable, I think you'll agree that a donation isn't too much to ask.
  14. 14 points
    Preparation is - done! Extensions are - done! I am - DONE!!!!!!!!!! Will work on some quarterly payroll reports tomorrow and Thursday while putting out minor fires that pop up - and then we we are out of here for four relaxing days!
  15. 14 points
    HUGE bald eagle flew at low altitude over my car and then landed in front of me (I was going slowly to start with, and stopped). First time I've seen one live and in person. This was in Lexington MA, barely a 1/2 mile from a major interstate highway. Wow. Just wow.
  16. 14 points
    Ah yes, "the hipster underwear taxpayer strategy". Happens to me at least once a year. Taxpayer slips in a flattering (size), popular, functional and colorful 3 pak, trying to gain your generosity in calculating their tax liability. IRS knows all about it and they have sent out briefs on the subject to warn us to not get boxed in by this ploy.
  17. 14 points
    Long-time client (and family friend) was in an "unfortunate" marriage for several years. Her spouse earned cash (under the table) and had not filed taxes in 5+ years and was not going to start just because he got married...so I have had to file client's returns MFS even though jointly was better because husband did not want his name ona a return and refused to sign a MFJ return. Client finally divorced the guy (unfortunately not final until January 2016). Client demands to file HOH (daughter lives with her) instead of MFS. The problem is that client already told me in several previous conversations that she did not move out until Sept. 2015....so did NOT live apart last 6 months of the year. After reading some IRS literature I sent, client is now telling me to file HOH under assumption that they did NOT live together last 6 months. I told her I could not file that way, as much as I may want to, because I had reasonable belief that it was false. Client cried Client shouted Client is no longer client but I will sleep well knowing I did not file a false return. I figure she'll find another preparer this year...to whom she will know what not to say...and she will probably be back to me next year. This job.....
  18. 14 points
    Ok, you started it! Granddude pics for your viewing pleasure. 3 of the current 4 with one on the way in July.
  19. 14 points
  20. 14 points
    No pics? Being a Grandpa is the best thing in the world!!
  21. 14 points
    I am retiring from practice, gray hairs and all. I hope I can still drop in and chat with ya all, from time to time. Thirty seven years is long enough I think. Although I will still have to prepare mine,.. going back to pencil....NO SOFTWARE Giving away all my office furniture and equipment to charity today, hope they can use it or sell it. All in all it has been a rewarding career. I may miss it for a time, but I guess all things come to an end. My best wishes to every one of you pro's. Elrod
  22. 14 points
    7 years ago today, my high school sweetheart and wife of 17 years passed away. Some of you were with me in spirit then (on old ATX forum) and offered words of encouragement. Thank you. Life is a crazy-magical thing....the door closed on that part of my life....and another opened just a few months later....affording me the opportunity to spend the 2nd half of my life with a grade-school sweetheart. During this time of year that is so filled with tax returns and clients....a take a little time to remember and be thankful. The motto I've learned to live by: "Shit happens...get over it...live happy"
  23. 14 points
    Client decides to jump on board the direct marketing bandwagon and start a "business" selling hand bags/purses (through Thirty-One). I sit down with her and explain the whole idea of business vs. hobby and explain to her what expenses might be deductible if we do approach it as a business...to assist in reducing the affect of her $1,000 1099-MISC income. She admits that there is no area of her home used exclusively for this activity, so no OIH...thus I inform her that she cannot deduct mileage...even if it was business-related...which was in itself questionable. I also inform her that her cell phone is not deductible since (among other reasons) she does not have another home phone...just her cell. She seems to understand and leaves me with her papers with a positive attitude...understandably since her product cost and other legitimate expenses would reduce her "profit" to only approx. $300.00....not having much affect if any on her usual refund. However, this evening, she e-mails me that she has been talking to other people she knows that do such "businesses" and they have been deducting such expenses for years...and that if I cannot deduct those things, she wants her papers back...below is my response...first time in my 16 years that this has happened. She is a nice young lady, but so be it...I do not have time for that crap. I understand completely. I pride myself on preparing returns according to IRS regulations in a manner that would hold up under IRS audit. A person can claim anything on their tax returns and not suffer any negative consequences…until they are audited….and there are no shortage of preparers willing to claim those deductions in order to attract or retain clients. While the chances of you being the unlucky one is really small, I will not lower my standards or risk my professional reputation by putting my name on a return that I consider questionable. I will be home tomorrow evening after 7:00pm, and other evenings this week after 6:00pm. I will have your papers ready.
  24. 13 points
    I hit golf balls because the golf season has officially begun.
  25. 13 points
    I never saw that page before. How is it that Eric is so far down the board that I am ahead of him? If I can get 2 more likes I can get past Elrod. Not like I am begging or anything...... Tom Newark, CA (Soon to be Modesto CA)
  26. 13 points
  27. 13 points
    MERRY CHRISTMAS to all! We just bought our Christmas Tree from the market. One of our better clients She deals with good people and even said if we gave it plenty of light and water she would even and come and take it away for us come February! So nicely shaped and just the right amount of fill, etc. Kind of strange quills - I did not get the type. What a great deal and nice young lady she is!! First year in this endeavor, hope she does well. /s
  28. 13 points
    Bahahahaha! I don't know, but I do know that every time a client says, "It's all there," I know for sure it's not all there. Every. Single. Time.
  29. 13 points
    I am right with you JB. You have to have some comfort in know you did the right thing. It's not even worth mentioning the consequences you could face had to succumbed to the client's desires. Good Job!!! All I know is that for every client that I have lost for what ever reason, at least two or three takes their place. Go figure. I fired a client last summer that was almost at the top of my PITA list. They opened the door by asking me the tax consequences of selling a building and have the buyer pay them partial cash and the rest with a check to avoid paying capital gains on the sale and if they absolutely had to report it. This opportunity was a blessing to say nope and now you breached our agreement and I can no longer provide you service as I cannot be part of anything that suggests tax fraud. I was told to forget everything I had just heard. Nope no can do, engagement ended. Man am I glad and I have already gained another S-Corp to take their place. So, stand up for what is right, you can't go wrong.
  30. 13 points
    My wife just mentioned how pleasant tax season is since we ridded our practice of some of the the real PITA's a few years ago - the kind that just like to keep everything in their world stirred up. So I had this thought. Would it be wrong to ask our prospective clients to submit to a personality test before we agree to take them on? Here is a sample of the client we will accept: Phone call yesterday: Client: Hi Ron, I just wanted to check and make sure you received the package I mailed a couple weeks ago. Me: Yes, client, we did get it. Things are just a little bogged down around here with the new reporting requirements and....... Client cuts me off mid-sentence: Ron, I don't care about all that. I have complete and utmost confidence in you and your staff. I just wanted to make sure you got my stuff, that's all. Have a wonderful day! Me: Thanks Client, we will be in touch. I want all of my clients to be like that.
  31. 13 points
    I really try not to judge...I can't know all of the sad/gory details of clients' lives and don't want to. However, when a client quits her two part-time jobs at the same time in 2014 because she has hit what she terms "the EIC sweet spot"...sits on her butt the remainder of the year being lazy (her words), chooses not to get insurance (even though subsidy would pay for almost all of it). gets sick and wants sympathy for not having health coverage and instead having big medical bills....then complains to me because her EIC and refund are not higher and how "that damn hospital" won't cut her a break on the bills. Her rent is subsidized through a county agency. She gets WIC (food stamp/card) and child support. Is mentally and physically able to work, but just chooses not to. Bitches to me for 10 minutes about how the government does nothing for her her refund is almost 25 times what she paid in. I need scotch
  32. 13 points
    Edit: I moved this so that we may all wish Jack our sincere congratulations, and so that it won't hijack another topic. It's a little misleading that the forum list shows Jack started his own thread of congrats. lol That was not the case. I should have used the "merge" function instead of "move". ~ Judy HEY!! I resemble that!! Passed all 3 EA exams last week. Just waiting on the official paperwork from the IRS. All of this talk about regulating preparers, and the ability to properly represent clients before the IRS are the reasons I stuck with it and won.
  33. 13 points
    6:15PM 6lbs 11.2oz 20.5 inches Caleb David Schlafman Mom & Baby are doing great!! Grandpa is doing an AWESOME job of being Grandpa!!
  34. 13 points
    So at church this morning, the Pastor says in his sermon that we are going to get audited by God some day. On the way home, my 18 year old son says he isn't worried about that audit because he will have a mileage log and his receipts when he gets there. He must be listening more than my wife and I think when we talk about clients at home. Tom Hollister, CA
  35. 13 points
    I had serious issues with 2012 ATX - you have all heard them. somehow Jack and I emailed and he offered to come all the way up from Ohio to Northern WI to fine-tune my computers and the ATX program. We worked out payment - I paid for airflight - my husband hemmed and hawed and it went up $100 or so in the meantime! I had a voucher at the Holiday Inn from a benefit and the car rental was insignificant and I paid way too little for his help that day! My office manager and I learned a ton and he really cleaned up the system, etc. A great learning experience and I did not have to bring my IT in, brought in someone who knew ATX instead. If you have any issues - I highly recommend Jack. Even my husband came around as Jack's knowledge of computers as well as ATX is superb. Plus we had a great dinner and then he got to see the great Northwoods! God's Country
  36. 12 points
    Lady just called - said "We can't get this TurboTax thing to work right or something. Are you busy this weekend?"
  37. 12 points
    See how easily it could have been done! And just tape your check to the other side!
  38. 12 points
    "This form transfers the burden of responsibility from the taxpayer to the paid preparer.'' That's the real problem. While the IRS should certainly go after those preparers who make a business out of preparing bogus returns, there have always been laws to do that. Shifting the responsibility, on every return, from the taxpayer to the preparer, is IMHO not only morally wrong but also totally counter-productive. Preparers are not and should not be unpaid IRS employees. Yes, you have to be alert to the occasional bogus TP, but this "solution" is just plain wrong.
  39. 12 points
    I also work year round and agree that helps with the let down phase. But I experience it some, too. I have a pile of things to do yet, and I admit I have very little motivation. I think Gail phrased it very appropriately: we're in a pressure cooker during tax season. I know many of you are better business people than me, and for the most part I'm ok with that. I have a very comfortable life. I work six days a week for ten weeks, but I don't kill myself during tax season. I come out of it looking like death on a cracker anyway, I think mostly because I spend a lot of time chatting with clients, and I'm an introvert. I mean, come on, people are idiots, why am I chatting with them?? I wonder how these preparers do 1,400 returns, half of which are entities, single-handedly, twenty minute appointments, study for EA exam at the red light on the way to the testing center. Oh, and this is their side gig. I get a little jealous. Then I remember they are full of sh*t and lying thru their teeth, and I feel better.
  40. 12 points
    I took my staff to dinner at a local restaurant. We ate, drank and laughed for two hours. My receptionist had her baby on April 12th, so we had a 5 day old baby boy at the table with us. My wife and I will relax at home tonight. Rich
  41. 12 points
    I'm actually not new - I've been reading this forum for years. At the end of every tax season I swear I'm going to join and donate and tell all of you how you helped me get through the last few months. Then I'm too tired. We're all tired. So that's not a good excuse anymore. I've done taxes for 32? years. On my own for approximately 28 of them and the hardest part has been not having anyone to bounce things off of. Well. That's not entirely true. The hardest part is the fools who walk through my door who make me wonder how they managed to find their way from their house to my office......... My biggest challenge this year was a client who I've had since day one. Two family rental totally gutted in a fire. Okay. What does this mean? How do I report? What is the impact? Involuntary conversion, right? Wait. Is there a casualty loss? OMG! Oddly enough - Bulldog Tom (who beat himself up for missing something on a return) gave me the answer in a post from 2015. Bless you Tom. And know that last year I finished a partnership return on 4/17 and forgot to e-file it. Yeah. Totally forgot to hit "send." At least the extension was filed on time and it was "only" two months late. I still suck as a preparer and I ate the penalty. Tom and all of you keep me sane. You make me laugh. You make me feel like I'm not alone. My sincerest appreciation
  42. 12 points
    I just had to share. New client, attorney, pretty smart and somewhat organized. Last year she decided to self prepare her own return because her Preparer could not get to her on October 10th(sounds like some of you on this board - just sayin' - not hatin'). Anyway, she did this return in her own handwriting and mailed it in to the IRS and the FTB. While reviewing the return, I notice something: Line 46 where the calculation for form 8962 goes just has a question mark filled in. Same for line 69. And attached to the return is all the worksheets and instructions for those forms, along with the 2016 versions of the forms. I am just cracking up thinking about when the poor clerk in Fresno opened up the envelope and had to try to figure out what the lady was telling her. I think we all ought to put question marks on our returns and mail them in just like this lady did. This is just way to funny too me. It must be late in the season because I just keep laughing about it. Tom Newark, CA
  43. 12 points
    Yeah, I have sections in the yard by width and length, too. It's efficient use of plot space.
  44. 12 points
    Here's my meal per diem, btw:
  45. 12 points
    I am not as good a friend as you. I would report this on Sch C as it was compensation for work. If she had worked at McDonalds for two weeks (or two hours), never to return to the food industry, SS and MC tax would have been withheld and paid in starting at the first clock in, and no tax pro would give a second thought as to regular and continuous. Yeah, she was really an employee, but just because that was done incorrectly, it doesn't mean you have to break your neck to help her escape the tax liability somebody should have paid. She can rat out sister-in-law I suppose, or ask sister in law to pay half her SE tax, but you have other fish to fry.
  46. 12 points
    My new policy on simple returns is to tack on $50 for the first “it’s simple” and $25 for each subsequent “it’s simple,” up to three. Then it’s gonna be, “You’re right, this is really too simple a return for me to prepare as I specialize in difficult returns. Thanks for calling, but I can’t take this engagement.” "I should just do this myself," gets a punch in the stomach thru the phone.
  47. 12 points
    I saw this last night, I would love to get away with putting this on a card and handing it out as needed...
  48. 12 points
    Sometimes I use a Ouija Board.
  49. 12 points
    I swear I'm going to start charging $1.00 for every envelope I have to open!
  50. 12 points
    "After further review of your situation in light of our recent discussions, we have determined that this office is not positioned to fulfill your requirements. We wish you the best in finding a firm with whom to work. Best Regards, " Nothing more.
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