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About JJStephens

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 11/04/1954

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  1. JJStephens

    Eric, our Honorary Tax Star

    Good golly. Has it been 11 years?!?!? I joined 4/14/07. Haven't been around much the last couple years due to health issues (me and my wife) and the press of also pastoring a small church. But I've benefited tremendously through the years. I've donated before...will immediately do so again. Gracias, amigo!
  2. JJStephens

    Don't know whether to laugh or cry

    Well garsh. Upon re-reading my OP I realize that my threshold comment sounded like I was referring to the previous client passing away. What I meant was I was close to the firing threshold. But a few of have given me an alternative to maybe think about.
  3. Just got an email from a long-time client. It begins: "Well it only took me 6 hours to check the returns this year." Her hubby is now retired (gets only SS) and she now has only one W2 and a very small Sch C. Six hours is a record for her. She usually double that poring over every detail. I have no clue why she doesn't just do them herself. She generally finds an obscure issue that is nothing more than a $1 rounding error (e.g., I entered each W2 individually, she added them all together). She wants it changed. We argue about it and finally she understands that it is inconsequential and makes no difference to her bottom line. This time she says that her Ohio medical worksheet expenses are off by $79. I went back through every document she provided to me. My number is exactly right based on what she provided. And then, after all that, she says, "Never mind. Even if I'm right it won't change my refund." Arrrghhh! I've only fired one client (a nurse who insisted I deduct $882 worth of underwear because she said she had to wear a brand new pair for every shift). Actually, come to think of it, I didn't fire her. I was going to but she passed away before I had the chance to. This one is getting pretty close to that threshold for me. Sorry 'bout all this. Just needed to vent.
  4. JJStephens

    Two SSA-1099s

    First time this has ever happened to me (this is my 31st year doing taxes--I wrote 29th at first but then did the math and realized its actually 31! How time flies when you're having fun!). Client received two SSA-1099s. One shows the usual net benefits in Box 5 and Part B premiums (and more) in the Box 3 Description. The other shows an additional amount paid including additional Part B prems. I presume I just enter both forms (i.e., report the combined amounts). Anyone have other advice/guidance?
  5. JJStephens


    I raised my fees about 2.5% this year...and still my average per return went down one dollar! Most of my clients have been with me 15-25 years and as more and more of them go into retirement, their returns are no longer as complex. I guess that's just the way it goes.
  6. JJStephens

    Help with a trust sale

    Client has been with me something just short of a hundred years. Several years ago they formed a trust with a friend to purchase a rental (the trust has no other assets). The deal was, the other guy could buy them out or they could request to be bought out within five years. Just short of the five year deadline client decided to exercise their option. They think the guy is merely buying out the property but they keep the trust; the way they have described it I think he's buying their share of the trust. I have no idea why they would want to keep the trust--they do not plan to purchase any additional property. They're asking me if the guy should make the check to them or to the trust. I have only limited experience with LLC/partnership sales and none with trusts. I do plan to tell them to get an attorney to write up the deal. Anybody have any other guidance on this?
  7. JJStephens

    client stiffed me - now what?

    Hey, JohnH. Next time you want to pay someone $1000 to take a client, I'll do it! In fact, I'll take a couple of them!
  8. JJStephens

    NT - After season humor

    I recently had to have a brain MRI to see if it is contributing to a genetic cardiac issue they recently discovered I have. The neurologist told me my brain is in pretty good shape but he said (pointing at the picture), "As you can see, it's shrinking a little bit." Then he added, "Don't worry. That happens to everyone when they get old." To which I muttered (under my breath), "Thirty-something turkey!" I guess when I was in my 30s I thought 62 was old, too. Still....arrghhh!!!
  9. JJStephens


    I'm jealous! 1 to go plus 3 I'm awaiting 1 last item from the clients. Then I get to start about 35 Forms 990 for my non-profits. Deep sigh.
  10. JJStephens

    ATX MAX up $ 500 ?

    Like Catherine, I found the first couple returns I did in Drake pretty awkward and had an 'oh no, what have I done?!?!' feeling in the pit of my stomach. But after the first 2 or 3 returns that went away and by the 5th return I was feeling pretty comfortable. By the time I did a few more I was kicking myself for not taking the leap years earlier. For me, the two biggest benefits are outstanding support and the fact that it takes me only 2/3 the time (or less) to prep a return than it used to take using ATX. I guess I'd have to add in the pricing as a third benefit. After two years there are still a few things in the software I find a bit clumsy but I had that occasionally with ATX too.
  11. JJStephens

    ATX MAX up $ 500 ?

    I jumped to Drake last year. ATX put on a press to get me back this year. Told me they could easily beat Drake and offered me a super special deal--$50 off the current price (which was $300 more than Drake). I passed. The previously hyper friendly sales agent suddenly adopted a whole new attitude and hung up. Sooo glad I made the jump last year. Prep time with Drake is about 2/3 what it was with ATX and support is phenomenal. I really enjoyed ATX for the 20 or so years I used it (and its predecessor)--especially in the early (pre-CCH) days. But I can't imagine leaving Drake now. Wish I'd done it ten years ago when I first thought about it. Oh, did I mention they haven't had a price increase in years?
  12. JJStephens

    Spousal coverage

    I missed it first time I read through the 8962 instructs but on your advice I took a second look...and there it was! Thanks Deb.
  13. JJStephens

    Spousal coverage

    Client & spouse were enrolled in Marketplace coverage throughout 2016 and took the advanced premium credit. Their 1095-A shows coverage for both throughout the year. In October the spouse became eligible for workplace coverage and enrolled in the employer's plan. They forgot to cancel the marketplace coverage on her until Jan 2017. She received a 1095-C showing Oct-Dec workplace coverage. This seems like it ought to be a simple issue but I'm completely befuddled. Can someone point me in the right direction?
  14. JJStephens

    Trust sold house at a loss

    Client's mother died in February 2016. Her house was sold in November at a loss of $23,800 (the house was out-of-state and they wanted a quick sale). Estate had no other income/expense/gain/loss. It did receive a refund of overpaid real estate taxes but I believe that is immaterial. I'm not real strong on trusts--okay, truth is I'm a complete bonehead on trusts!--so I need someone to see if I did my research correctly. A loss on the sale of a personal residence is not deductible but when the house went into the estate it became investment property. Therefore, the loss passes through to the two beneficiaries on Schedule K-1 and they are able to deduct it on their personal returns. Is that accurate? Also, anyone know if I need to file a copy with NJ (where the estate is domiciled)?