Churches and Bankruptcy

Churches and Bankruptcy
Separation of Church and State is one of those sticky issues that has been lingering around since the day Adam first told his teenage children they had to obey because “he said so.” Take the recent ruling 2012-2 U.S.T.C. ¶50,487, a fun tax dispute showing we’ve yet to figure this whole thing out. Go Tell ...

No Capital for your Cows

No Capital for your Cows
Since most of my work is related to decent sized corporations, I never work on farms. One of my clients, however, decided a ranch would make a great side business (no, it’s not Ann Romney). It’s a fairly small operation and doesn’t take much time on my part, but it has just enough specialized rules to be annoying. This ...

Burning Down the House

Burning Down the House
I’m a little behind on this one, since the court case was determined back in February, but I’m sure there are plenty of eager readers who missed the final ruling of Rolfs v. Commissioner, 668F.3d 888. So here’s the overall concept: you can’t take a tax deduction for burning down your house. Sorry. The story ...

Napkins Aren’t Receipts

Napkins Aren’t Receipts
Apparently lawyers can’t talk their way out of everything. One attorney attempted to deduct self-generated, handwritten receipts, which I imagine were in crayon on the back of his used Famous Dave’s napkins. He not only couldn’t provide any receipts of purchase, he couldn’t provide any credit card statements, or any third party generated proof at ...

Getting Hired–Your Picture

Getting Hired–Your Picture
All of the big accounting firms do some sort of “summer leadership program,” which is really just accounting speak for “recruiting.” The bright-eyed college kids learn about as much about leadership at these things as they could flipping burgers at McDonalds. I don’t believe attending helps your chances to get hired (at least I’ve never ...

Are Tax Breaks Worth It?

Are Tax Breaks Worth It?
The Wall Street Journal pointed out this week that many companies are passing up tax breaks. The IRS estimates that only 20,000 corporate tax returns claimed any incentive, out of the 1.78 million corporate returns filed. For the amount of time that I’ve heard complaints about corporations zipping through loopholes and not paying their fair ...

I’m not a Going Concern

I’m not a Going Concern
And with that, my dreams of writing for GoingConcern.com have been shattered. It wasn’t a long-time dream or anything. It might have hit me in a sleepy haze once or twice, probably the same nights my mind converted my coworkers into a group of ravaging dogs that tore me limb from limb. Which is not, ...

Aurora Shooting

Aurora Shooting
This morning, as I rolled over in bed and considered sneaking in a few more minutes of sleep, my phone gave its painful “work e-mail” cry. I gave in like Pavlov’s dog, pulling open the e-mail app, checking for some kind of emergency. For once, there actually was one: Aurora shootings – employee well-being check ...

Mitten’s Return

Mitten’s Return
The new obsession with Mitt Romney’s tax returns baffles me. We all know he makes a lot of money. A whole lot of money. We already know he paid close to a 15% tax rate since his income came almost exclusively from taxes. We also already know that he invested money overseas, which, for some ...

California Tax Rant

California Tax Rant
Dear California, I hope by now you are at least beginning to realize you’ve screwed up your tax system. I really shouldn’t care, since I haven’t called you home for nearly ten years now, but my family lives there, and I still have to deal with your infernal tax returns. First of all, your actual ...