Friday, April 26, 2013

CPA Draft Day

Last night, the National Football League held its annual draft. You know the glacial process where each team “on the clock” gets 10 minutes to make a selection from the best of the best among collegiate pigskin prospects.

Years ago, when the event was held at one of the major hotels in New York, I had the fortune of knowing the head banquet manager at the venue who quickly ushered my wife and I into a pair of front row seats. We arrived safely ahead of all the “draftniks” who, incredibly waited outside all night for the opportunity to urge on their teams  (scream at the top of their lungs actually) to draft that skull-crushing linebacker, the Heisman Trophy quarterback who can uncork a perfect 70-yard spiral, or an offensive tackle was roughly the size of a brontosaurus.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More Yesterdays than Tomorrows

The other day I received a hefty-sized letter with a Florida return address and a last name that rang faintly familiar. Since it was stamped I knew it wasn’t likely to be one of the 43 credit card offers that overpopulate my mailbox with promises of a .0002 interest rate should I decide to transfer my current balance.

No, to my surprise and admittedly no small sense of shock, it was an invitation to attend my (add your own choice of year here because I’m not telling) high school reunion. The event, staged over three days in July includes a pool party, a meet and greet at one of the local watering holes, a gala event on Saturday evening and finally, a Sunday barbecue on one of Long Island’s more famous beaches.

Curiosity if nothing else will have me RSVP’ing  the Saturday event, but the wincing thought of hundreds of middle-aged classmates in swimwear most of whom haven’t seen the inside of a gym since the Carter Administration, will likely prompt me to send a “regrets only” for the pool party and beachcomber shindig.

As I’d indicated above there was also a bit of a shock factor to accompany the invite. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

From a Preparer Mess to an Auto-Quagmire

If you’ll pardon a deliberate pun, the early returns from this year’s filing season are not good.

Scattered software glitches coupled with the inevitable 11th hour changes in the IRC left many practitioners using language usually reserved for a bachelor party of longshoremen. I wish I could put a nickel in my retirement savings for every preparer that swore that they had just worked their last tax season.

But wait, it promises to get even better.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Now it’s “You Didn’t Earn That?”

Ronald Reagan used to joke that government’s view of the economy can be summed up in three short phrases: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little Beltway humor now that another tax season is officially in the books. And comical actions and inefficiency has long been Washington’s most abundant resource.

Which brings us to the topic of the day.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fear of Flying

With all due respect to the author Erica Jong, and in full disclosure, this missive will be nowhere as erotic or exciting as was her 1970s tome by the same name.

But nonetheless it will likely elicit more sympathy as we’ve all been there at one time or another. This week, we conducted our annual company retreat in Kansas City (okay I know the 21st century buzzword is “summit” and not “retreat” but bear with me) , which for those of us in the Northeast translates into paying for a steep non-stop fare, or economizing and biting the Chicago bullet – meaning a connection at either O’Hare or Midway airports.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hey Bam, You Want To Save Taxpayers Money? Try This!

Years ago, I heard a stand-up comedian regale the audience with comic-laced anecdotes about how frugal his family was while growing up.

“We’d take our summer vacations at a place along the highway called ‘rest stop,’” he quipped. When the laughter died down, he would add, “Oh you’ve been there too?”

“One year we changed it up a bit and camped out at gas, food and lodging.”

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Fools!

For me, April Fools began officially last Friday when a roofing contractor, who has failed on three separate occasions to stop a leak at Chez Carlino, spent 9 hours attempting to fix the problem only to have an Easter Sunday rain quickly divert the leak to another section of the ceiling.

Nothing like a heaping side dish of rainwater to accompany a spring lamb.

It’s like that arcade game “whack a mole” where you bonk the creature as it comes out of its hole only to resurface in another.

But it got better in terms of pranks.