March Madness – 2015 Edition

ChristianGrey

 

Here is that time again, where I am sorting through paper bags full of client receipt and tax papers to do tax returns.  You thought this was about basketball?!  Oh noooo, it’s about the insane life a tax professional and the madness we see every year right up the grand finale – April 15th.  Now I know most of my readers probably have simple 1040EZ’s and big refunds coming, but some on my clients have complex returns.  This year we get the Shared Responsibility penalty if you don’t have insurance.  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Suuuure….

How many of you are happy to prepare a tax return?  Raise your digital hands.  I thought so, not a one of you.  This year we have a new person, a conservative, running for President of the United States.  His name is Mark Everson and he is the former Commissioner of the IRS.  Boo, Hiss, Bah!  Except he wants to rid tax returns for 150 million people.  Say whaaaat?!!   I kid you not.  Maybe it is time to look at this guy seriously.  Decreasing the power of the IRS and Congress could be a good thing. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Some have asked me,”won’t that hurt your ability to make income?”  The answer is that most Americans truly don’t need a return.  Give them a bigger paycheck and let them pay a little each time they buy something they want.  Called a consumption tax, you control your tax liability, not Congress.  The problem is that they don’t want to give up the power to tax and play guardians over our lives.  March Madness is alive and well in DC, where every month is March.  Most of my clients are complex, so they still need to have accounting done before I give them a heart attack.  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

We will stay a little stressed now for the next 4 weeks, drumming up receipts from the trash can and making a dash of madness to our respective preparers, and when we are done, we will forget the pain of tax season and those who may have made an attempt to ease those pains.  We will curl up on our couch, open a bag of chips and brew and watch 68 teams running back and forth in a sweating frenzy, the real reason for the season – March Madness.  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

As for us CPA’s we will extend our most difficult returns so that we can have through October 15th to continue the madness.   Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of …, well, at least some of us are happy it’s March.

Now, please show your support of your CPA by leaving me a message of feigned sympathy.

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Weather Chaos

For the last three weeks we have had crappy weather, which in turn lasts until Monday, so that the crappiest day of all the week is crappified by the power of ten.  If you have 3 crappy weather systems spun by polar vortices you get crap to the power of ten, tripled.  Whatever.  I haven’t used high level math since college.  The point is, enough crap already!  If I were the weather chipmunk, squirrel, or any variety of rather large rodent, even I’d take a bite out of the mayor’s ear for pulling me out of my comfy earthen bunker, interrupting the “Dancing with Rodents” season finale.

I get it, I get it – we are in a cycle of weather chaos created by global weather changing chaos.  People in Alaska are actually at the beach surfing with the Kodiaks, a bear weighing half a ton, not a couple you just met from Arkansas, while I’m here in Oklahoma writing a crappy blog that 3 people subscribe to – all family members.  I want to be outside, running around in my shorts, planting a garden and mowing my lawn like a man.  But the forecasters keep giving me more crap with winter storms Quantum, Rectal and Squantum – all just days apart.  My skin is so dry and my Eczema is so intense, I have dried skin flakes all around my face.  See!

EddieNut3

People in Boston are literally building ten story snow condo’s and charging rent. Recent photographs show the Nantucket looking like a giant Slurpee machine. All this explains the odd accent of Bostonians, their lips are frozen! Pipes are bursting in DC, while our politicians are on lobbyist junkets to Costa Rica, creating a government budget chaos.  But never fear, politicians are cold-blooded creatures and they will survive, they don’t know the difference, nor the meaning of the word “budget”.

This winter has interrupted my tax season more than ever, with several Monday’s being missed, forcing me to work Sundays.  Crap to the power of ten, tripled.  They say that all this cold may find us with a baby boom.  How?  Why is anyone going to get naked in this cold?  My wife has ten layers of quilts on the bed, thermal underwear and an artic burka on.  Even if I could move under the crushing weight of the quilts to make a move, de-clothing my wife would result in cardiac arrest.

The ice age is upon us and yet according to Scientific American, we can expect a rapid warming.  And that’s bad?!  If so, then warming, cooling, nor change is the appropriate word for our weather, just chaos.  We have only a few more letters left to name winter storms, then we start all over.  I keep hoping a scene out of the blockbuster movie inspired by Algorisms, “Global Crappy Chaos“, has DC frozen over in a matter of hours so that all the activities of the IRS, including email destruction, comes to halt finally fulfilling the preamble to the constitution – “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Hey, if you are going to have crappy weather, let’s have something positive come from it.

My point is this, life will give you plenty of crap, and weather will simply pile more of it on.  So all we can do is pull our big person thermal underwear up and deal with it the best way we can.  All I can do is provide cold crappy humor, and that should be a warming thought.

You are welcome.

Now chime in, what crappy weather story do you have to share?

 

 

Female Code – February 2015 (Nude Tax Preparation)

Football Season - Again???

My #$%^& DRESS!

I am currently working for a local CPA firm until our move to Kauai is complete.  Yes, I know, I know… I’ve been writing about this for over a year.  A house is in the escrow process, but until then, I wanted to stay busy and make a little money.  Little did I know I’d be in the presence of an almost ALL female firm.  And they love to talk and yes, gang up on me, their token male employee (that’s my nickname). I prefer certified professional man candy. They talk about men as though we were the problems for all of society and human history, and how they can’t wait for their husbands to go on business trips, or military assignments to Mars.  I do my best to not listen, to ignore them, but they are awful loud.

Today one female presented me with material.  The woman accidentally spilled grease on a dress that she was wearing for an after-work social gathering, most likely dominated by other alpha females, who pretend to listen to your conversation, ready to catapult themselves and their day into the conversation – which would obviously be about her dress.  Personally, I think she planned this.

This lady… I mean woman…. well, a female…. wondered if she should go home to get a different dress or immediately pass go, collect $200 and then return to Park Place for shopping.  To her aid came her female gang members (comrades) with solutions on how to rid the dress of the grease stain, that looked like a decorative St. Valentine’s day heart.  Ahhhh…

Get ready for this men… I kid you not….

  1. Female # 1 – put salt on it.  So she did, wait no, it was pepper.  So the heart turned to a speckled blob, quite unattractive.
  2. Female #2 – put baking powder on it.  She asked if female #2 if she had any on her.  Well no, but there was some in the car.  So she went to the car.  Who keeps baking powder in their car?  I was afraid to ask any further.  This didn’t work either, the stain was  now the shape and size of Texas and she was scratching her leg from the unexpected discovery she was violently allergic to the mixture of baking powder and pepper.  I was laughing… very, very, silently under my breath.  Even token men can be mauled.  Never, ever, laugh at a women about her dress, and never, ever, answer the question of do they look fat.
  3. Female #3 – Battery Acid.  Well yes, you will find that in a car, but really…  She nixed this one, which is good, because the chemical reaction between battery acid and baking powder is an explosion.  I was silently cheering this option on.  What does a man do for entertainment these days?
  4. Female #4 – Splatter Paint Colors.  Go all avant-garde with a Pablo Picantesauce impressionistic work of art.
  5. Female #5 – More grease.  Yes, splash her with grease so that the dress just matches all around.  They might all get up at once and starting lobbing their French fries all over her.

This final solution was the one she thought of choosing, but to do so she would have to strip, close the door and prepare taxes in the nude.

This is when the enterprising man in me – came into the picture and the rescue.  I mentioned I would trip the fire alarm and send her rushing into the streets, where I’d have a little desk, ten-key calculator, and laptop ready to continue preparing tax returns.  By the end of the day, we’d have 1,000 new clients and she would be heftily tipped.

She didn’t think I was a bit funny or clever, and suggested I run out of the building naked.  And this clearly why women are from Venus – a planet uninhabitable, humorless, cloudy, gassy, overly heated, and unable to penetrate with logic or reason.  I could have saved this gang of women their entire lunch hour by telling her to go home and get a different dress, but heck, then they wouldn’t have anything to do in the lunch room, except batter the token men in their lives.

Further proof that the DNA Code of women is nothing more than a mutated microbe that arrived from Venus, came out of the sludge, completely nude.. ready to file your 1040EZ.

And we men, in our infinite wisdom and simplicity, are spell bound by them, well… their nude bodies.

Silly and absurd?  You betcha!

Blog Blah Syndrome

It is hard to be a writer and an accountant. I would love to leave accounting and taxation forever and be a well known author sitting on a beach and dreaming of my next book. I’ve written three – a trilogy and still waiting for success to arrive. Book 4 is still in edit mode and book 5 about 50% complete. But it’s tax season and I’m stuck in the blahs of blahland Oklahoma, where the winds come sweeping down the plains at 110 mph, making a 50 degree day a negative 60 wind chill. Soon our tornado sirens will be blaring and we will be scrambling to take cover. Blah.

Why did the government create tax season to end on April 15th, why not December 24th? Why don’t they stagger it so we don’t have to be chained to a desk and computer 7 days a week? Whose bright idea was it to create the income tax? I can hear it now, “It will create lots and lots of jobs for lawyers, accountants, printers, suppliers and who knows what else. Yes, yes bring on the income tax system.” And ever since they have tried to simplify it (wink, wink). Yeah right! Tax season even interrupts my blogging. Blah – Blah.

Needless to say I have not written anything humorous as of late because it’s tax season.  Are you laughing right now? I didn’t think so, but don’t blame me. As a matter of fact, buy my books and you can claim you were responsible for there being one less accountant in this world. I dare you! Blah, Blah, Blah.

Then there’s the yard work of spring ahead – pulling weeds, mowing, trimming, and scooping up my Golden Retriever’s fresh and warm poop. Blah, Bluhck, Blah.  Yes, that’s the actual sound I make!

I’ve been doing this now for 29 years. 29 years hearing clients wanting to deduct dogs as dependents, bass boats as entertainment, new bras as support expense, and wondering why my fee doesn’t go down with their refund size. But it gets better!  There are those that call me up and say they did their own return and now the IRS is questioning it. Oh now they want my help!  Afraid not folks, this bean counter and bean planner is shipping out to HAWAII.

Yes, I am moving later this year to live out the remainder of my life where my soul has been crying for ever since I first visited paradise in 1986. They say it will ruin my life READ HERE, but I don’t care, bring on the ruin.  I must cure this blah syndrome I’ve been infected by.  I need to run semi-nude on a warm sandy beach and let the remnants of my hair blow in the trade winds.  I need to make mad passionate Mai Tai’s and little stick animals from driftwood, learn to hula and lose a tire gut.  If you want to hate this humble blogger, well tough Golden Retriever Doo Doo!  I’ll be going on a 2-week due diligence trip shortly after tax season to decide which town to live in.  Then it’s time to sell everything I own except shorts, shirts and slippers (we called them thongs when I was kid) and buy a one-way ticket.

So over the next few weeks, if you get sick of my Hawaii posts, buy my books and you can lay claim that you were responsible to there being one less obnoxious blogger bragging about moving to Hawaii in this world.  It’s okay to hate me now.  Hater!

Mahalo!

Kauai

Coffee Chaos – April 2013 Edition (Tax Deadline)

Coffee ChaosThe Monthly Journal

Coffee Chaos
The Monthly Journal

I am a CPA.  Today is April 5th and the 15th is nearing.  Tax season is chaos, but it would be a disaster if my Colombian Supremo coffee supply ran out.  I can only imagine the deductions I’d let people get away with if caffeine wasn’t flowing through my veins.  Here’s an actual list of tax benefits and deductions people have asked if they could claim:

  1. Pets as dependents.  Yes dogs, cats, goldfish, squirrels and others are dependent on your goodwill and care, but the gods in Congress have written laws that prevent such deductions.  Although they have plenty deductions for their own pet projects.  He who writes the laws controls the laws.
  2. Travel Motor Home.  I had a lady one time demand I write off 100% of her motor home for conventions she attended selling makeup.  I suggested she run for Congress. She has the same mindset as they do.
  3. Bass Boats and Lap Dances.  You see, Bubbas entertain Bubba clients on Bubba Bass boats (wink wink).  They also want to deduct the booze and the lap dances from Lola Arlene’s House of Pleasure.  I believe these ex-clients are also members of Congress.
  4.  Home Office.  I had one client who wanted to deduct all the expenses of her home for watching a friends child.  Just one child. She was paid for the service, but claiming an 80″ HDTV as a office expense seemed a little excessive. What do you think?
  5. Breast Pump.  The mother of the child above also wanted to deduct her breast pump as a childcare expense.

I could go on and on, but this truly isn’t news to any of you.  You probably already know someone who qualifies for the Earned Income Credit and drives a BMW M6 convertible and has enough bling on them to compete with Zales jewelers.

My point is that the income tax systems (Federal and State) requires I stay on my toes, with eyes wide open.  Therefore my deduction of my Colombian Supremo bean supply, commercial grinder and brewer are an immediate and necessary business expense.  Now if I could just find a way to deduct my wine and cellar maintenance expense.

Happy tax season taxpayers and fellow CPA’s. This is my 28th survival season. As for members of congress and politicians everywhere, may someone slip you a decaf.  That’s coffee chaos I’d love to watch on C-SPASTIC.

Ginger or Mary Ann?

My daughter is now on a kick to see how I can create humor around photos.  For us aging men, there has always been a deep and daily thought on what would happen if we were stranded on an island and had only two choices of who to be stranded with.  That’s right, the philosophical conundrum of – Ginger or Mary Ann?

Island

I can settle this quickly. Without a doubt Mary Ann.  Why you ask?

Mary Ann is a farmer’s daughter who set out on a three hour tour and wound up ship wrecked on Mulligan’s Isle with yours truly, the accountant.  Yeah, yeah, I know there was no accountant on the ship, but it’s my fantasy, so let me have fun. It’s tax season for crying out loud. Besides none of you ever questioned the absurdity of a filthy rich millionaire and movie star taking a low budget trolling tour.  It makes more sense for a tight-wad CPA. Producers canned the idea stating a CPA character would have sunk the Minnow in the pilot episode.  Well, they never met me.

Mary Ann is a farmer, so she is used to hard work and living off the land.  This means she will devise a way to make coconuts into something edible.  She’s been couped up in the hen house for most of her life and now she’s trapped there with me. For the sake of my minor aged readers, I’ll stop here.  But since I’ve never truly understood the meaning of “Farmer’s Daughter”, I assume world championship rodeo is involved. YEE HAW!

Had it been Ginger the “Movie Star”, of Rodeo Drive, she would have been immediately worried about her cuticles, hair, and her 50 Coach bags.  She’d be barking out orders like a super model pit bull on Red Bull.  She would most likely be an “experienced” lady of Lola LaLa Land,  and have been around the island a few times, if you get my sea weed drift.  Besides I saw her video on TMZ not intentionally wanting it to go public (wink, wink.) Any time she wanted something she’d go into acting mode; strutting towards you, while you sing a Bob Seger tune in your head, winking and whispering, “Oh dawling could you fix me some fish?”  Nope, she would be first to go over board.

Mary Ann would have already caught dinner for two, had it fried in a pan, and never, ever let me forget I was a man.  YEE HAW! Besides, who wants to go the beach with a woman that has a $5,000 Fendi evening gown on?  Mary Ann’s running around the place with beautiful flowing brunette hair and tanned skin, with faded worn out denim short-shorts and a thinning plaid shirt tied above the naval base, calling out for invasion.  Grrrrrr… Woof Woof! Sorry I can only hold back the animal inside me for a while.  Am I right, or am I right?

She’s also a enterprising woman, willing to do back breaking work, while I sip on Pina Colada’s and count the coconut inventory(my only job as chief beach bum.) She made a moonshine still too!  It doesn’t take a professor for this smart country gal. She also made a wooden railroad on the island so that I could take a daily trip to Petticoat Junction.  Hey, it’s my fantasy island!  Again, you never questioned how the Minnow could carry so much stuff, like luggage, for a three hour tour.  Was Ginger giving a fashion show?

Now for a sing along:

Just sit right back and I’ll tell a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a skinny silly man,
The skipper brave and sure.
Six passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.
The ocean bellowed and the ocean swayed,
Someone sabotaged the tiny ship,
If not for the courage of the devious CPA
Mary Ann would be lost, Mary Ann would be lost.
The ship set ground on the shore of a deserted fruity isle
With Eduardo,
No Skipper or Scooby Doo,
No millionaire and his wife,
No movie star,
No professor, just
Mary Ann,
Here on Mulligan’s Isle.

Oh what a fantasy!  That’s when some little short runt would come running by screaming “Boss, De Plane, De Plane!”  and a cruise whip wrecks just right off the reef, with thousands of people from the geriatric Love Boat come swimming my way wearing bikinis, thongs and speedos. This is where my fantasy runs ashore on the wind swept plains of Oklahoma.

As you can see I would not make a great erotic author.  Fantasy islands have too many tourist and are overly commercial.  We only had 3 channels growing up.  Today we have 3,000.  There’s more material now for absurd fantasy than ever before.

Get busy writing!

27 Insane Tax Seasons – Greenlee’s Inferno (Not a comedy)

2012 may not be the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan calendar, but it is the end of my professional career as a tax professional. Oh I will always prepare a few for family and friends, but for the general public, the 2011 returns represents my last. Why? One sure fire way to go insane is to try to keep up with insane politicians insanely mingling in the insane tax code and the insane public’s expectations. Over the last decade the law has been more insane than usual. Let me help you understand the insanity.

Tax season begins January 1 by filing employment forms (W-2’s, 1099’s, etc.) no later than January 31. This is of course wholly dependent on companies having their act (books) together. So January is the first insane month of hell.

In February people start receiving aforementioned forms and those that have a refund coming are already want to file, so they have vacation money for spring break. Folks, the US Treasury is not a savings account! I actually had a taxpayer state that they had no will power to save, so they let the IRS do it for them. There is the philosophy of the early filers. That is February, the second insane month from hell.

In March, you have corporate tax deadlines. This is when companies finally get their act together, on March 10, for the deadline on March 15. If you try to extend the return, here is an actual response from an actual client, “Well we got it to you on time, why do you have to extend?” I have always wanted to reply “Sir, there is no magic button I can push to clean up twelve months of DIY bookkeeping garbage.” The DIY craze began many years ago and has been the number one reason for me for calling it quits. If a brain surgeon did brain surgery as bad as they did books, I’d just shoot myself and save healthcare dollars.

In April, you have the procrastinators’ convention from hell. These people from the insane public call you on April 10, with their plans to go on a worldwide cruise and want their return by April 15th. Now if you can finish the returns on April 15th, you don’t get a thank you, you get questions as to why my fee is so high, because that interferes with their spending money on their trip.

So, insanity is trying to make the majority of your annual income in three and one-half months. In the past it was the monthly accounting of small businesses that fed us. Tax return revenues were the icing on the cake. But since the DIY craze we are left with a massive amount of tax work with which to attempt to earn a full year’s worth of income, it bears repeating, in three and a half months. To say “I am burned out” does not do it justice. Instead I’ll call it a journey through Greenlee’s Inferno.

There I stood, the accountant, at the tenth level of hell. My mind battered by the horrors of the nine previous levels, yet I had the last level to endure. It was April tenth and the fury and wrath of all those self-inflicted by sloth, stood there with their arms tugging at my flesh. They demanded I take undocumented deductions and not heed notice of unreported income for they justified their sins hurt no one. They swam in their own excrement of poor record keeping, but bade me heed no notice of it, no matter how putrid their unworldly stench. They flung their excrement into Pandora’s box and presented it to me, pleading to save their behinds from the fires of the coming days. If I failed their standard, they assaulted me with their muted curses.

For twenty-seven years, I have heard their pleas, their cries of anguish until my mind was wracked by pain and with bitter and sleepless nights. There I stood drained of flesh and spirit, as I neared the exit from hell. As I bade farewell, their cries were at the injustice of me leaving them to the insane world they could not escape. There my last image was of them standing in their excrement clinging to their money that had replaced all their morals and ethics, the very possession which imprisoned them there.

At the first level of hell appeared a new accountant, fresh to the world, ready to be devoured. I had been easily replaced and my name was as fleeting as the wind and forgotten forever. I appeared at the exit and before me shone a light and a voice spoke to me, “You have passed the test, to have withstood all the levels of hell and those that are bound to it. You have not sacrificed your beliefs or your oath. Now, seek the clear, clean air and breathe the life of sanity.”

There comes a time in life when you must choose how to spend the remaining days. I look forward to those years where I no longer curse the days of a man-made season of insane complexity.