― Jarod Kintz,
Dec 9, 2013
“I’m not opposed to new people, I just don’t like their packaging (diapers).”
― Jarod Kintz,
― Jarod Kintz,
As I'm typing this blog post, it is Monday 5:30 a.m.. I just changed my two-week old daughter's diaper at 4:15 a.m. I can understand why she feels that I must drop everything to cater to her needs. She can't help herself so I must help her. What got me mad while I was changing her diaper was not the time of day. I was mad that a potential client called me on Sunday afternoon requesting a conference call due to an "emergency!" I woke up the next day mad that someone would call me with such foolishness. I avoided the person call on Saturday but then the person called again on Sunday. In addition, the person didn't tell me the details on the voice mail. Just in case you're wondering how this person had my cell number, we had previous meetings.
Let me be clear, tax accountants are great but we are not policemen, firemen or doctors. There is no such thing as a "tax emergency" that needs to be handle on a Sunday afternoon. The nerve of any potential or current client stalking you on the weekend. Especially, if you haven't even talk about money. Now, if Bill Gates called me on a Sunday afternoon, I will be on the next flight out to the west coast during a snow storm.
I must admit that I'm a sucker for calling back the person. However, the person really thought that I was a big sucker talking about "emergency." I told him that I'm not in the right state of mind to talk business. I was in my sweat pants enjoying the company of my growing family. My advice to taxpayers is to "grow the hell up!" The world doesn't revolve around you (unless you paying me "drop everything" money). Stop acting like a damn baby! My advice to tax professionals is that don't treat your clients like newborn babies. Don't be scared to tell them "this is not that serious, I'll call you during business hours." I'm going to start to tell some disrespectful taxpayers that "Tricks are for kids, silly rabbit!"
Dec 2, 2013
Recently, I finished publishing my first e-book and my second child was born. Now, you know why I have disappeared from the face of the tax blogging world for the last three months. After months of hard work, my book currently sold less than 10 copies. I still believe that my book is the world's funniest tax advice book. Who knows maybe Oprah might discover my book and I will become an instant millionaire. To ease the pain from disappointing book sales, God (and my wife) blessed me with my first daughter. I already have one three-year old son. My daughter was born on November 18th and I already see the world differently. Could it be that my view of taxes change too?
Since, I'm now sleep deprived, it is only right to compare taxes and taxpayers with a newborn. My first lesson is that no matter how hard you try to satisfy a newborn, he or she will still cry in less than two hours. As a tax accountant, I must stop trying to change the world. Let's face it, people will never stop complaining about taxes. I can find many different ways to teach people how to minimize their taxes and two hours later they become too lazy to learn from my lesson. My newborn daughter gets fed and then falls asleep. Two hours later, my daughter acts like nothing happened before she fell asleep! I can't sleep-train a newborn and I can't force a taxpayer to listen to my advice!
Just like newborns, taxpayers only listen to what they want to hear. It is so easy to hate the IRS but it is these corrupt politicians that make the tax laws. Any time I tell people about this fact, they look at me like I'm retarded. They want me to bash and talk lowly about the IRS. Any parent with a newborn knows that you can't reason with their newborn child. Just like my newborn daughter, I care for my readers but it may be unreasonable to believe that all of them will learn from me. Most taxpayers believe they have grown with age but in reality they are just as bad as newborn baby. Taxpayers hate taxes but don't want to get up and vote! Due to their laziness, we continue to have the same lame politicians year after year. We can't spark a tax revolution by just yelling at a TV! Yelling at Bill O'Reilly will not lower taxes for the middle class. Wake up America!
The truth is sometimes hard to hear or read. As usual, whether right or wrong, I will share my honest opinions about taxes and taxpayers. There will be more lessons about newborns and taxes. Matter of fact, expect a separate series comparing toddlers and taxes. No more Mr. Nice Tax Guy. If you want textbook tax answers.....google it!
The world funniest tax advice book is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FMGH9P6
Sep 25, 2013
If you’re like most people, getting a letter from the IRS is something you dread.
What’s going to happen?
How much is this going to cost me?
Author Jamaal “The Tax Guy” Solomon takes the fear out of doing your taxes and dealing with the IRS with his empowering new book, A Good Guy’s Tax Journey: Part I.
Forget about boring tax advice or legalese. Follow the engaging story of Will and Sally as they navigate the waters of the Internal Revenue Service.
A Sample of Topics You’ll learn:
· How to understand your IRS notice or letter.
· When you should file a tax extension.
· How a special type of tax professional can help you deal with even the toughest IRS situations.
· Important tax terms every citizen needs to know.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Read A Good Guy’s Tax Journey now and get control of your taxes today.
Who Is The Tax Guy?
Jamaal “The Tax Guy” Solomon is an Enrolled Agent (EA) — the only federally licensed tax practitioners who have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. He holds a Master’s Degree in Taxation and is the founder of J.S. Tax Corporation. He has written several articles on taxes, and volunteers for numerous mentoring, career, and financial literacy programs. The Tax Guy lives on Long Island with his loving wife and son.
Sep 9, 2013
“Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish it.” – Unknown
Sometimes people act like tax accountants are number geeks who have no personal life. I can't blame the stereotype because by nature we are "just the facts" type of professionals. Well, let me tell you that tax accountants are normal human beings with feelings, hopes and dreams.
Last year, I lost my favorite Uncle to Leukemia. Just writing the previous sentence almost brings tears to my eyes. He fought Leukemia with absolute courage. Since I was a toddler, I was always excited to hear that my Uncle Jimmy was coming to visit. Even in my twenties and thirties, we had some wild adventures together.
On October 19, I will be participating in the Light the Night charity walk to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.Please visit my team page to see how you can contribute to my cause. Thank you!
If you are a tax accountant and have a charitable cause that you want to fund-raise, please let me know. I will post your charitable cause in one of my "Proof that tax accountants have hearts" post. It can be any cause from global warming, homeless animals, etc. I'm not here to judge on what you are passionate about. I just won't post political causes because politicians have enough money! We should all help each other!
Aug 21, 2013
Here is a word from the Goodfellas at the IRS:
IRS Health Care Tax Tip 2013-01
The IRS has launched a new Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions website at IRS.gov/aca to educate individuals and businesses on how the health care law may affect them. The new home page has three sections, which explain the tax benefits and responsibilities for individuals and families, employers, and other organizations, with links and information for each group. The site provides information about tax provisions that are in effect now and those that will go into effect in 2014 and beyond.
Topics include premium tax credits for individuals, new benefits and responsibilities for employers, and tax provisions for insurers, tax-exempt organizations and certain other business types.
Visitors to the new site will find information about the law and its provisions, legal guidance, the latest news, frequently asked questions and links to additional resources.
Several other federal agencies have a role in implementing the health care law, including the Department of Health and Human Services, which has primary responsibility. To help locate additional online resources from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor and the Small Business Administration, the IRS has issued a new Web-based flyer - Healthcare Law Online Resources (Publication 5093).
Visit IRS.gov/aca for more information regarding the tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Aug 20, 2013
Here is a word from the Goodfellas at the IRS:
IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2013-19
Going to college can be a stressful time for students and parents. The IRS offers these tips about education tax benefits that can help offset some college costs and maybe relieve some of that stress.
• American Opportunity Tax Credit. This credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student. The AOTC is available for the first four years of post secondary education. Forty percent of the credit is refundable. That means that you may be able to receive up to $1,000 of the credit as a refund, even if you don’t owe any taxes. Qualified expenses include tuition and fees, course related books, supplies and equipment. A recent law extended the AOTC through the end of Dec. 2017.
• Lifetime Learning Credit. With the LLC, you may be able to claim up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses on your federal tax return. There is no limit on the number of years you can claim this credit for an eligible student.
You can claim only one type of education credit per student on your federal tax return each year. If you pay college expenses for more than one student in the same year, you can claim credits on a per-student, per-year basis. For example, you can claim the AOTC for one student and the LLC for the other student.
You can use the IRS’s Interactive Tax Assistant tool to help determine if you’re eligible for these credits. The tool is available at IRS.gov.
• Student loan interest deduction. Other than home mortgage interest, you generally can’t deduct the interest you pay. However, you may be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. The deduction can reduce your taxable income by up to $2,500. You don’t need to itemize deductions to claim it.
These education benefits are subject to income limitations and may be reduced or eliminated depending on your income.
For more information, visit the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center at IRS.gov. Also, check Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education. The booklet’s also available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Aug 19, 2013
“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
I'm the type of individual that respects his elders. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn so much from the past? I absolutely enjoy picking "seasoned" professionals' brains. However, there have been many of times that I got either flat out rejected or even worse disrespected by some older tax accountants (30 + years experience). Let it be known that I asked for strictly advice and not charity. I didn't approach these individuals looking for clients, jobs or money. To be brutally honest, we all know that the world isn't perfect. I do believe that some bad encounters happened due to my race, gender and age. Some people will never like me no matter what I do. I'm not trying to doubters into believers because my life is too short.
I never will forget when I attend a tax organization meeting (I will not drop names) and I was the youngest attendees by decades. The meeting only had about fifteen attendees. I don't know whether I had a bad odor or somrthing but my attempts to communicate with some attendee were met with cold silence. Imagine trying to talk to someone and they don't respond. Trust me when I say that I'm not lying or joking about this experience! Another time, I approached an older tax accountant and he started to talk about himself (maybe he was crazy) and left me. I mean dude literally didn't hear a word I said and left within two minutes (without even saying that he was leaving our conversation). Another older tax accountant tried to sell me something instead of listening to me. Some older accountants don't return emails I sent requesting advice. I have many other moments that I'm not proud to experience.
No need to throw a pity party for me. I don't let bad encounters discourage my quest for knowledge. In fact, I have met many great "seasoned" tax professionals. I don't like dropping names but these individuals shared great advice with me. Some relationships started by simply asking for advice via email. My advice to young tax professional is not to be shy. Young professionals MUST seek advice from "seasoned" tax professionals. You will meet some jerks but hey that's life! You have to keep on striving for excellence. My advice to "seasoned" tax professionals is don't be greedy. "Seasoned" professionals MUST share their knowledge. I'm pretty sure someone helped them along their journey. Now is their time to help tax professionals like myself to carry the torch. Don't view all young tax professionals as people that are trying to steal your titles or clients.
Next Confessions: "Arrogance of Some Young Tax Professionals." I'm going to really get myself into trouble after this confession!
Aug 14, 2013
Here is a word from the Goodfellas at IRS:
IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2013-17
Tax information can be difficult to understand in any language. It can be even more difficult if English is not your first language. The IRS provides a wide range of free products and services on its Spanish language web pages. Visit IRS.gov/espanol to get federal tax help in Spanish.
Here are ten features “en Español” you can find this summer:
1. Get answers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. IRS.gov/espanol is available all day, every day for individuals and businesses. Find answers to many questions such as:
• Do I have to file a tax return?
• What credits or deductions am I eligible to take on my tax return?
• Where can I get free tax help to complete my tax return?
2. Get tax forms and publications. View and download several tax forms and publications in Spanish directly from IRS.gov/espanol.
3. E-file your federal tax return. E-file your 2012 federal income tax return from the comfort of your own home through Oct. 15, 2013. Available in English or Spanish, IRS e-file is fast, easy and safe. There are free e-file options for everyone.
4. Check the status of your tax refund. Check the status of your refund through the online tool “¿Dónde está mi reembolso?” on our secure website.
5. Find out if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. EITC is a refundable tax credit for people who work but don’t earn a lot of income. Use “Asistente EITC” to find out if you’re eligible for this valuable tax credit.
6. Get help in difficult financial times. The loss of a job, taking part in a debt forgiveness program or tapping into a retirement fund can affect your taxes. Find out what you need to know by visiting “Centro Tributario para Asistir a Contribuyentes Desempleados.” You can also type the keywords “Qué pasa si” into the search box.
7. Get updated information on new tax laws. You can get the most up-to-date information on tax law changes that may apply to you or your business on the IRS.gov website. Just type “Noticias en Español” in the search box.
8. Get up to date at the Multimedia Center. Video tax tips and audio podcasts on various IRS topics are available in English and Spanish. Search using the keywords “Centro Multimediático.”
9. Follow IRS on Twitter. Connect with IRS through social media to get the latest IRS tax news and information “en español” through Twitter @IRSenEspanol.
10. Order a transcript of your tax returns. Order free transcripts en Español online and get them within 5 to 10 business days.
The official IRS website address is IRS.gov. Don’t be fooled by sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations other than .gov.
Visit the new and improved Tax Factor blog @ www.thetaxfactor.com
Aug 12, 2013
C - Continuing
P - Professional
E - Education
“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”
― Michel Legrand
― Michel Legrand
Education is in my blood. My father was a principal and my mom was a day care director. In fact, I moonlight as an adjunct professor at a local college. I'm a strong believer in the importance of Continuing Professional Education (CPE). As an Enrolled Agent, I must obtain 72 hours of CPE every three years. I have no problem with the 72 hour requirement. However, I do have a problem with the tons of email I receive from CPE providers. Who is selling my information? How did these companies get my email address? Most people get spam mail about an inheritance scam or Viagra pills but people like myself get spam about CPE!
Honestly, I probably only used three online CPE providers. I like to stick with companies that I already trust. I'm not saying that other companies are scam artists. I just don't want to be bother with all of these offers. I find myself always unsubscribing from a mailing list that I never signed up for in the first place! My advice would be to just stick with two CPE providers. Life is already too complex to deal with more than two CPE providers.
I won't offer any recommendations about which CPE provider to chose. I believe that your CPE provider should be chosen based on your personal preference. For example, I only use CPE providers who have websites that don't look like they are stuck in the 90s (or early 2000s). This is my personal preference and I'm not saying everyone should follow it.
If you are the one selling my information to CPE providers.....shame on you!
Next confession: Arrogance of Some (Not All) Old Accountants (30+ years)
Check out the new and improved The Tax Factor blog @ www.thetaxfactor.com
Aug 9, 2013
Danny Werfel, acting IRS Commissioner, has announced that the planned August 30, 2013, furlough day has been postponed.Read Article >
"Behind every successful man stands a woman and the IRS. One takes the credit, and the other takes the cash."
For the most part, I have no problems with the IRS. I have to protect my clients against the IRS so I consider the IRS my fierce rival. For me to say that I like the IRS would be similar to Tom Brady saying that he likes Peyton Manning during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. I respect the IRS but I come to win when I'm dealing with them. I don't hate the IRS but I hate some things about dealing with them. Here are some things that drive me crazy about dealing with the IRS:
- Not being able to communicate with the IRS via email is insane! Faxing, mailing and calling is so the 80s. The IRS has to find a way to act like it is the year 2013. A lot of time spent on my IRS cases could have been reduced in half, if I was able to email correspondences.
- Calling the IRS toll-free number is like being stuck in rush hour traffic in CHINA! There has been times that I waited over an hour to get an operator. Don't even try to call the IRS in March or April. One time, I called the IRS and went to lunch. I was still on hold when I came back from lunch.
- Waiting for tax-exemption status approval is longer than a full season of professional baseball. I have completed many tax-exemption applications (Form 1023). The average completion time is around six months. It only takes me about a week to complete the application. However, the IRS is so understaffed that it takes forever for them to review your application. During the waiting period, I have to calm my clients down at least four times.
- Dealing with a overworked IRS employee is like dealing with an ex-girlfriend who hates you for no reason. Some IRS agents are just plain old nasty. It is not my fault that Congress didn't approve the IRS budget so stop being mad at me for your workload!
Despite this list, I have learned that you should always treat the IRS with respect. Even if the IRS agent is Satan himself, you must treat them with respect. Don't get respect confused with fear. If you are "on-point" with your case, you have nothing to fear.
Next confession: Receiving CPE offer emails
Visit the new and improved The Tax Factor blog @ www.thetaxfactor.com
THE WORLD'S FIRST TAX ADVICE LOVE STORY TRILOGY IS COMING......
Jul 30, 2013
The New Inductee to the Tax Preparers' Hall of Shame goes to a..........FAMILY!!!!
YES, A FAMILY!!!!
In Brownsville, Texas, Judy Lynn McCune, Loretta Ann McCune and Rania Ann Sanchez have been sent to prison for conspiring to defraud the federal government by preparing federal returns and cashing refund checks in the name of deceased individuals. The three women entered guilty pleas in April.
Judy received a sentence of 57 months, Loretta Ann 20 months and Sanchez 24 months in prison. Restitution of $223,098 was also ordered paid to the IRS, and the women will be required to serve three years of supervised release following completion of their prison terms.
McCune admitted that she recruited members of her family, including her mother, Loretta Ann McCune, and her sister, Sanchez, into the scheme.
The story gets real crazy. Read more about this story by visiting to www.accountingtoday.com.
Well, I wouldn't want to attend the next McCune family reunion. This should be a lesson to not let bad relatives bring you down. Just because they are family, doesn't make them right! Keep it clean folks!
Visit the new and improved Tax Factor blog: www.thetaxfactor.com
Visit the new and improved Tax Factor blog: www.thetaxfactor.com
Jul 29, 2013
"Every client you keep, is one less that you need to find." -Nigel Sanders
I agree with Mr. Sanders' quote but only to a certain point. Some clients are just not worth the headache.
My parents taught me that "hate" is a strong word. I rarely use the word "hate" because hating is bad for your health. Therefore, when I say that I hate bum clients, it's a real feeling. Luckily, most of the clients that I dealt with in the past and present are great individuals. However, it is always that rare one percent of clients that were bums. As an entrepreneur, there is nothing worst than dealing with a disrespectful clients. These bum clients can ruin a nice summer day. I will only give "bum" clients two chances to prove that I should keep them as clients. In some cases, two chances may be too much. Here are some reasons a "bum" client won't make it to the second chance:
- I can't keep clients that wanted everything done yesterday but you have to chase them down for your fees. I have no problem dealing with urgent situations but it is so disrespectful when the client decides to disappear when it is time to pay. All of sudden, your calls are not being returned like you are a ex-boyfriend!
- I can't keep clients that want a deep discount but you have to do double the amount of work. Even worse, they won't even give you referrals for your great service! I have performed deep discount services and almost always get burnt in the end. I don't know how I always fall for it. The clients comes to me very humble and appreciative. However when the work is done, it is almost like they forget how I helped them in a tight situation. Some bum clients even try to repeat the same action like nothing happened in the past. This can only happen to me once then it is "good bye!"
- I can't keep clients that think taxes are easy. These clients come into your office with an arrogant attitude. It is almost like they think that they are doing you a favor by coming to your office. Telling me that "taxes are easy" is a big slap in my face and my fellow tax professionals. I will not allow someone to disrespect my profession. If taxes are so easy then the client should save their money and complete their own taxes.
- I can't keep clients that will disregard the law because their friend got away with the proposed scam. These type of clients will only help you lose your professional license. When they get into trouble, they will blame everything on you. Don't fall victim to these bum clients.
- I can't keep clients that get mad at me for owing the government money. It is not my fault that they withheld too little taxes from their paycheck. I'm not dumb, most of these type of clients know exactly why they owe money. How can you claim six exemptions on your paycheck when you are single with no kids?
There is nothing wrong with firing bum clients. Life is too and complex to deal with them! Firing bum clients will give you more time to concentrate on your valuable clients.
Great article on how to fire bad clients: http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/how-to-fire-bad-clients/
Next confession: Dealing with the IRS
Visit the new and improved Tax Factor blog: www.thetaxfactor.com