The President’s Tax Return and $467 of Italian Bolillos.

There’s no way in hell the President should release his tax returns.

tax return

Background: I was an accountant. I worked for Fortune 50 Banks, Investment Houses, and Insurance Companies, ending as a partner in a small brokerage firm out of Miami. Because I was the designated test taker in the office, I had every license offered from the SEC, Series 6, then 7, Series 22 for REIT’s, and I could even sell commodities, 4X, and gold. I was a CFP, a ChFC, a CLU, and RHU, and an LUTCF. Most of the work was for small to medium sized businesses, and estate work for clients from Manhattan to Chile. Throughout my corp career, I represented over 300 clients and their families in front of the IRS for final disposition of assets. I’ve testified as an expert, and back in the day, I was one heckuva forensic accountant.

For the President’s tax return, it would have taken a team of 30-50 people, probably far better than me, and two years of time (at least), to accurately audit a single year. Yeah, at least two years and maybe more like 5 years.

Most people work FOR a company. They receive a W-2, add in a few deductions if they own a home, have medical or childcare expenses, and take a deduction for tithing to a church, etc. A business owners’ taxes, and the audit of those taxes, is completely different. EVERYTHING a business owner touches has the potential for a deduction in varying percentages. If a person owns MORE than one business, or businesses in more than one state, or more than one country, the tax return becomes exponentially complex.

President Trump is a named principal in over 512 entities. He owns portions of many more companies, in many states and countries. Imagine the overwhelming task of auditing such a tax return. MILLIONS of decisions and rulings would have to be made and each decision would change the bottom line amount of taxes due……, which is why anyone CAN release a tax return while under audit……… but it’s a horrible idea…….. because the bottom line number will change and only necessitate an explanation as to WHY the bottom line number changes.

Now, imagine how complex the return would become if viewed by those with a political bias.

To understand how difficult this can be, let’s narrow the scope to something manageable. Forget Santo Domingo sugar plantations and private islands, or President Trump’s private planes and golf courses. Allow me give you a few examples of how obscure decisions/rulings can become. Let’s look at an actual audit for a single teeny-tiny company….. mine.

I was advised 3yrs of one of my companies’ returns was to be audited when the “revenuer” burst through my back door, unannounced, and presented me with a bill for $27K, and…… I could settle it by writing her a check….. “Right now!”. Most people, even business owners, are intimidated by the IRS and stop at this point. They panic. They mortgage the house, dip into savings, and pay the IRS. I knew better. I fought back, for accuracy, reputation, and I was offended by the intimidation tactics being used….. which is probably exactly what the President and his accountants are doing.

The audit lasted 4yrs and every single penny spent over a three year period was ruled upon a total of three different times. The second review of the three shut my business down for 6 weeks, while I personally went over every penny, with state and federal auditors – in my dining room. I had to walk them through a real audit and NOT ONE of them was an accountant.

Example #1: Whether or not I could deduct food was a huge fight with the auditors. I spent about $85K a year on food and they came up with a formula for 1/3 of food cost as personal expense. Nothing legal, they just decided it was a good number. No, I had receipts for other expenditures which were personal food expenses.

A. Whether or not I could deduct mayonnaise required a ruling. My secret ingredient in scrambled eggs is a tablespoon of Hellman’s for every 3 eggs (no milk or butter). I produced a B&B magazine, to whom I submitted a published recipe. The ruling took 8 months… for mayonnaise. It set the tone for what was to come.

B. $476 dollar deduction for something I listed as an Italian Bolillo. They didn’t know what it was so they struck the deduction. A Mexican bolillo is short crusty roll, an Italian version is a little longer, kind of like a loaf of French Bread for a single sandwich. How would it be possible for my husband, who worked all day, me, and an infant who wasn’t on solid food, to eat $476 dollars worth of bread before it went stale? The ruling on Bolillos took 18 months.

Bolillo

C. Surely, the auditors thought, during Decembers, I would be home, the house-frau (they were so condescending), with my family, and tried to strike all food purchases from Thanksgiving onward. No, I had the receipts and schedules. Again, 63 lbs of grapes, for my husband, me, and a baby? How could my family eat 63lbs of grapes? The grape ruling took 11 months…. for grapes.

Example #2: Garden expenses versus floral expenses:  My company’s CPA advised me to take 72.9% of the garden expense as a deduction, cuz the guests enjoyed the garden and 72.9% of the square footage of the house was “guest space”. Auditors did not like that and demanded another measurement of the house…….., by a local certified architect, who just happened to be Gunner’s godfather. Well, 16 months before it was approved, and counting cubic footage of walls, the measurement went to 75.2%. Same deduction for home repairs roofing, with depreciation, etc. Yet, 83.33% deduction for cable expense and 100% for phone lines. Floral expense was something I purchased for a specific event, and deducted at 100%, even if it was 12 ferns for graduation and I took them home.

Example #3: I found a mistake in their software and threatened a class action lawsuit. For instance, I am allowed to deduct local sales taxes on items I sell/rent. At the time, we had a 7% sales tax. Yet, anything from 86 cents to 99 cents, their software calculated at 7 cents of sales tax due. No. by law, it’s still 6 cents from 86-99 cents, and not 7 cents until a purchase reaches $1.00. Now, think about ALLLLLLLLL the McDonald’s and fast food joints, all over the country, who charge $.99 for an item. The auditors were revealing when a sales tax was demanded (which was different than an income tax audit), they were seeking an amount from ALLLLLL those franchises in excess of what was due. I was wide-eyed at the thought of a lawsuit. They capitulated on that one fairly quickly.

Example #4: Diaper trees. They thought they had me on Diaper Trees……. because one of the auditors was a new mom, and thought I was trying to deduct diaper expense…. When you have a baby, you tend to make friends with those who have babies. We held a LOT of baby showers here. I used a grapevine Christmas tree form and glued baby diapers to the form, with little bows, and they made perfect centerpieces. I had the receipts for 87 forms and receipts for personal family diapers – separated. Ruling took 13 months…….  I had pictures from the parties, and invoices where I charged for the diaper trees, with a corresponding deposit. Wrong. Deduction allowed.

Example #5: The ruling to deduct sales tax from other purchases, for items which were resold or rented, was a massive ruling. It went through two Big 8 accounting firms and took almost 2 years. Of course, in principal, I was correct, cuz otherwise, I would have been forced to pay what amounted to double taxation. Not fair to my customers. It saved me about $12K.

At the end, they owed me about $2300. Ruling after ruling was required and I didn’t win them all – everything is a negotiation, back and forth, with proof…. even when it comes to mayonnaise. I went through supervisor after supervisor and never yielded. Meanwhile, my own CPA told me of 6 other clients he had on his desk, undergoing the same harsh treatment by the IRS and state auditors in our county. One elder couple owned a large fabric store. Their bill was $68K at first. They mortgaged their home and laid off an employee to afford to pay their tax bill. I knew it was BS, they were being targeted.

Okay, you have examples of my teeny-tiny business. Multiply my lone small biz audit problems by a thousand, or a million — then multiply those problems by 512 entities, across multiple states, AND countries, to conceive a Trump audit.

Imagine pundits on CNN or MSNBC evaluating whether or not President Trump should be able to deduct something as small as “mayonnaise”, or the personal square footage for him, his wife, and Barron. CNN would demand to measure Mar-A-Lago or Bedminster. For CNN, it would be better speculation than a downed plane, and provide those who oppose the President with material for endless criticism….. which is WHY they want his tax returns…. political fodder.

Does ANYONE here have ANY confidence a television pundit could understand the President’s return AND communicate it accurately? Yet, we ALL know, the pundits would speak with authority and probably mislead at least half the country. The chances are 100%, we could find an “expert” accountant, willing to become the “Avenatti of Taxes”, appearing 200X’s on cable television, who would insist, a “mayonnaise” deduction should never be allowed…. and thus…. the President is cheating on his taxes. See how that works?

Need Proof? Given what you read above, you’re all qualified as junior accountants. Consider the following statement from Arthel Neville of Fox News to a Dem strategist: (Paraphrasing)

Arthel: We’re all looking forward to the President’s tax return. Please come back when he releases it and we can go through it, together, line by line. 

Is Arthel crazy? We don’t have until the year 2050 to go through the President’s return! Line by line???? …. and then put it up for pubic discussion? The idea is absurd.

You might ask: But Daughn, every other President has released his taxes for the past 50 years, what is Trump so afraid of? It’s an unwarranted extrapolation. Cats have tails, Dogs have tails, Cats are not Dogs. It’s bad logic. Not every President has the same finances, just because they are all Presidents. The Bush’s tax returns were easy. They owned relatively few businesses and had been in public life before becoming President. Everything was separated and isolated. Clinton’s and Obama’s would have been close to a one page return. Jimmy Carter only had a farm. Easy-Peasy. Reagan was Governor of Cali before becoming President and would have separated monies into trust accounts. What did Nixon own? Eisenhower was a General. NONE of these past Presidents have assets anywhere close to the complexity of President Trump and NONE of them ever had such a virulent press corps…. who clearly only want the returns for political fodder.

You might say:  But Daughn, CNN tells me the reason President Trump doesn’t want to release his tax returns is because he’s really not worth 10 billion dollars, it’s really more like 3.5 billion. Well, if you’re expecting to evaluate the President’s net worth from a tax return, you’ve been misled. His FEC filings or a balance sheet, would give a more accurate snapshot of net worth…. which the President provided, as legally required, before the election. The DIFFERENCE in the two numbers is probably coming from an evaluation of a business as a “going concern” as to a “liquidation value”, PLUS, “valuation of “goodwill”. We all know Steve Forbes (who ranked billionaires) hates Donald Trump and has hated him for decades — thus the constant fight about the evaluation of “Trump” good will.

These evaluations of net worth can swing wildly. As a going concern, my stove might be worth $5000, but if I had to sell it in a garage sale/liquidation, it might only be worth $800. See what I mean? Good Will, adds value to a company. My little B&B is worth more than a new B&B, because I am published, have a reputation, and decades of customers. What do we suppose the “Trump” name would be worth?

Let’s all understand, “Trump” does license his name to other hotels if they meet a certain threshold. A significant hit to his reputation would degrade his “good will” value….., which is another reason the press and Dems attack our President in a personal manner. We know, before Trump became President, the Trump brand was one of the top 10, requested in China for expansion. Yeah, top 10. Huge net worth added to the valuation of his good will. The “Trump” name, as a past President of the USA, could normally add ANOTHER 5 billion to his good will….. which is WHY you see protesters, funded by wealthy opponents like Soros, attacking his hotels and demanding the Trump name be removed. They’re trying to attack the largest part his his personal wealth…. his reputation…. his name…. and his good will.

You might say: But Daughn, these people are experts. They know what they’re talking about! I’m shaking my head. Most accountants don’t have the time to dig into personal expenses. AND People who always talk about how smart they are are…. well, we watch them closely. Consider this, when I met husband, he was a trial lawyer in Boston, which is the LAND of great lawyers and accountants, right? And I was just the chic who made the muffins, from Mississippi, right? Well, knew he would be receiving a large settlement from the whistle-blower case, and the tax implications would be massive. Finally, I talked him into allowing me to look at his past seven years of tax returns. One assistant and I took four months to complete the project, with 12 hour days. I re-filed them all, saving $227K in Fed/state taxes and accumulating 1.6 million dollars in legitimate expenses to carry forward. It saved us a fortune when the settlement finally came through and helped fund the kids’ college plans. The difference was common sense and elbow grease, not an Ivy-League degree.

Now think for a minute. If it took me and one other person four months to redo 7yrs of a small law office, how long would it take to do a single year for President Trump and his 512 companies?

One more point, in summary. Does anyone think President Trump tweets in the morning, flies to Minnesota in the afternoon, and plays with Turbo Tax in the evening? Of course, he does not. President Trump has the best CPA’s working on his tax returns. We’ve all heard the stories of President Bush AND President Obama auditing Citizen Trump, every year of their administrations. If there was any kind of a problem, we would have already heard about it.

No, the President should NEVER release his tax returns. I would lay in the middle of the road to stop him if he was my client. But if he was my client – of course, I would invite you all to lunch to meet him.

It’s time for dinner. Who’s paying the bill? After today, who can afford to pay the bill?

102 thoughts on “The President’s Tax Return and $467 of Italian Bolillos.

  1. Joy, joy……….. A terrific article Daughn. Daughter is an accountant, considering going into forensic accounting.

    You have a talent for getting right to the core of the matter and explaining so that most of us understand right away what you are talking about. Kudos to you.

    I can visualize the IRS folks who barged in on you, being totally unprepared for the lessons they were about to learn… laughing my butt off. Incredible some were not even accountants. You’re right though, just say “I’m from the government” and average citizen folds.

    Thank you for taking the time to pull this together for us… your handle is most appropriate “…works247.” Beginning to believe you are a Renaissance Woman, or what some of my neighbors in Carolina might call “a Jack of all trades” …….. ‘Diaper Trees’ !!!!!!!!!!! that’s extremely clever.

    You go Girl !!!!!!!!!!!!! (Hope hubby adequately rewarded you for redoing 7 yrs of returns and reclaiming so much in taxes paid. Somehow I know he did 😉

    Liked by 15 people

  2. Outstanding, daughn.

    As a retired business banker, I have great appreciation for this story. I became proficient at reading and understanding financial statements and business tax returns that your industry created for clients. However, once it went past about a dozen with common interests and/or ownership my eyes would glaze over and mind would tire quickly. Everything you say about audits and IRS auditors is true in my experience. PDT’s expression about the invasion of illegals applies also to IRS staff; “they’re not sending their best.” So many of them could never hold jobs in the private sector and it was painfully obvious during audits.

    I agree – don’t do it, PDT. Just don’t. There is probably not one leftist politician who could understand a tenth of what your returns actually say. You know the whole point of their exercise is to just gum things up, to make false claims to take your time, and to distract voters. Tell them to go pound sand.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. There we go, Tradebait, I knew I would find a kindred spirit here.
      Those idiots, when they audited me, they sent me a 26yr old female. They had NOOOOOOOO idea who was before I opened the B&B.
      Wait until you hear this part.

      I told her to drop her little packet on the kitchen table. Apparently they had been working on ME for quite a while. I would review it and get back to her.
      4 other women in the kitchen and they all scattered immediately. I was shaking. I was scared, panicked and pissed, all at the same time.
      I picked up the packet to walk from kitchen, through butler’s pantry, to the dining room. When you pay quarterly, you remember the amount of the check. First DAMN page, I realized they had the payments for April, July, October, and following January NOT matched up with revenue for a single year.
      Instead, they took payments from January (which would have been previous year), April, July, October.
      What the living hell?
      Can’t even match up payments with earnings?

      I picked up the car keys and was in the local office, where they were working, within FIVE minutes.
      Went straight in.
      Hair on fire, but calm. Appeared to want to settle quickly.
      Asked following questions:
      Me: This packet is so thick,,,, and so complicated for me to understand
      Him: Yes mam
      Me: It looks like you spent a long time on this, are you SURE this is right?
      Him: Yes mam, “little chic” spend about 8 weeks on your case.
      Me: Really? Wow. And did anyone else work on it? Did you look at it? Are you sure? (waving my checkbook so I looked like I was ready to write a check)
      Him: Oh, yes mam. All audits with over $10K owed have to be reviewed……… (and then he said the magic words)
      Him: I review you file and returns myself.
      I THREW the papers on the desk toward him.
      Me: Then, it’s a good damn thing I’m not your boss, cuz I would have fired you for wasting 8 weeks of assets when you didn’t even match taxes paid to the fiscal year of revenue.

      How stupid are these people?

      Liked by 7 people

        1. Makes perfect sense to confirm the suspected violation, or predicate, BEFORE engaging in any details. That is why NONE of the investigations involving TRUMP made any sense what-so-ever. There was no reasonable grounds to assume violation of any Law which would give them standing upon which to demand an investigation. Just as being confident and qualified, and knowing you had nothing to hide, enabled you to use their own system to prove their phony claim. POTUS does the same. Thank you for sharing your experience Daughnworks247, it encourages others. And thank you Wolfmoon 1776 for providing a forum for such helpful truth.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome stuff! This shows me how badly they can weaponize audits as a moneymaker – even for meticulous and conscientious filers.

    And NOW I think I understand how the Obama leftists were licking their lips when all those conservative Tea Party groups applied for tax exemption, just like OFA and Karl Rove’s outfits have, using 501(c)(4)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRS_targeting_controversy#Tax_exemption_and_donor_anonymity

    It ALMOST makes me wonder if the Obama leftists SEEDED the idea of tax exemption to those groups, as a way to get them into the grips of their IRS lackeys.

    Liked by 10 people

      1. Honorable? Yes.

        Rather pay? Dont Tread On Me.

        Not our little tea party. We would tell people that it isn’t a money-making org – it’s a tea party. If you want to donate, then donate. Get a tax ID number? Are you nuts? That wouldn’t make much sense when our motto is “get your government off my freedom”.

        And if anybody wants to get really pissy about it, we’re just a bunch of geezers who like to bitch about everything.

        Wanna join us?

        No?

        I didn’t think so. Have a nice day, g-man.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. TY—I have heard similar from a couple of other business owners, who are probably small in comparison..
    Trump holdings are something that no one could even fathom having, much less all the many things it takes to do the taxes on.
    FYI–its been tweeted, and suggested it be retweeted too. .

    Liked by 8 people

  5. Great article Daughn. Glad you “came up for air”:-)

    Confirms what I thought I knew instinctively.

    President Trump will never release his tax returns. IRS should not either.

    Have to believe, as I believe Gail pointed out earlier today in another thread, the Courts will not order his tax returns be released. It is beyond obvious, 100% political. Nothing to do with what is legal.

    It is all political theater. It must fail. D-Rats have been doggedly pursuing President Trump for three years or so. Vociferously promoting anything and everything to damage his name, and in their minds build an impeachment case.

    Personally, I have never been interested in any President, candidate for President, or any politicos tax returns. Simply don’t care. There are so many more valid ways to evaluate a candidate. Ability to dodge taxes, which I encourage, is not one of them.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Totally agree, Daughn!

    President Trump was a private citizen before taking office…his tax returns have been under audit by the IRS and if there was anything wrong, the IRS would have found it.

    It is none of our business how he made his money. Period.
    He wasn’t in an elected office, using the power of his govt job to make money…like so many of these other politicians.

    These politicians who have been in public office for years, are the ones who should release their tax returns!
    How did they become millionaires while in office?!

    Liked by 8 people

  7. Great article, Daughn! Totally agree. By the way, I remember a picture of POTUS before the election signing his tax return for that year. Does anyone remember this? It was sitting stacked up on his desk and it was over a foot high. Yes, I can imagine those clueless little weasels going through it line by line. Ha!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That sonic boom you just heard was my evening glass of wine being spit out of my mouth from laughing……HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

      love this.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I made a “significant” contribution, yes, but this was long before Tea Party stuff. We had a birthday party for 5 guys in town (another story), one of whom was the Mayor, and on the bottom of the flyer, I listed BYOB.
      We were in a dry county at the time.
      I was targeted by a woman in the local office who didn’t like my new found popularity.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Great article once again!
    Thanks for all the time and effort you put in to this site. You are definitely enlightening us all with your knowledge. Greatly appreciated!

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Wonderful article!!! Both your own experiences and the president’s business are way above and beyond our own, but I can relate at a much lower level!!

    Having had at teeny tiny mom and pop business and a few rentals, usually with no employees, and doing all the filing, from schedule c to 1065 to a few S corp. myself, it has amazed me how many people in banking have looked at our forms over the years and commented that we have a complex tax situation when we would try to apply for a loan. (We tended to be the square peg.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Now that I see the President’s stack of forms, I can only imagine the network and inter-relating of all the various business, and it would keep an accountant VERY busy chasing information from one form to another…… Not a head ache I would wish for!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It’s really like a great big puzzle.
        My helper was a 16year old girl who was pregnant and decided to have the baby. I thought she needed a little help with money. It’s not hard, just don’t let go of one thread….follow til the end.
        She had no idea what she was in for when we started.

        Liked by 5 people

  10. Great stuff, Daughn 👏👏👏👏

    Sadly, Colorado has turned so blue, and has added so many lines to the tax form for various ‘goodie writeoffs’ for all our environmental initiative wind/solar/crapola plus all the LGBT and SJW ’causes’ you can donate to on the return (🙄) that my state return is now thicker than my federal return.

    No, I don’t USE any of those stinkin’ lines, but the form itself is way more convoluted and long.

    Pisses me off BIGLY.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The government already knows your numbers, Social Security, and medicare, etc. The bank knows your information. Any thing or anybody that asks for information they should already have is a scammer.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Hubby turned 60, me 55 and we have had two phone calls and three phishing emails. All supposed to be from the IRS. We contacted the IRS and were told, IRS does not call or email. As Daughn states it is an in person contact! Or maybe a letter.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I’ve gotten repeated calls and some spoof emails from ‘pay-pal’ and even from folks I’ve done business with years ago, even a local hospital connected clinic – demanding money that I knew I did not owe.

        I get repeated impatient calls about pain and braces from folks hoping to bill medicare a heap of money.

        Nowadays, I do not answer any calls from numbers I do not know. They can leave a message and I will decide. I do not use a smart phone and my cell phone is a 2002 Nokia that stays in my car for emergencies and travel. I ain’t interested in playing games with viruses, cons and ads on those new-fangled smart phones.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. The best way to make a point is with personal stories. I love the way you incorporate such while teaching what coul be a dry subject. You demystify the IRS and tax returns.

    Back under Janet Reno and Clinton when pro-lifers were subject to all sorts of harassments, we went to straight deductions to avoid any extraneous subjection. Fortunately we could, because DH worked for a company, and we did not own any. The only thing I had to do was stay out of jail while praying or sidewalk counseling by PP.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. The best way to make a point is with personal stories. I love the way you incorporate such while teaching what coul be a dry subject. You demystify the IRS and tax returns.

    Back under Janet Reno and Clinton when pro-lifers were subject to all sorts of harassments, we went to
    straight deductions to avoid any extraneous subjection. Fortunately we could, because DH worked for a company, and we did not own any. The only thing I had to do was stay out of jail while praying or sidewalk counseling by PP.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Rayzorbak, there’s an expression in the military, and I’m going to get it wrong, that goes something like this: 99% of what we do is stand around or train —>>> for the 1% of life that is sheer hell.
        The 1% is what makes life interesting.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. And honey, when you’re on a roll, your wit is so sharp, I just want to stand back and hand you straight lines. Say hello to that grandson from our house!!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Will certainly do it.

          Spring has sprung….
          Wife has some Landscaping requests I have to get done soon.

          I’ll be in and out as time permits.

          Love this site….. AND…..
          YOUR awesome articles about REAL Life in America.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Rayzorbak, I just hit the wrong button and “trashed” your observer comment — when I was TRYING to reply to it.
            My apologies.
            Trying to figure out how to bring it back from “trash bin”.
            Panic!

            Liked by 1 person

              1. What I was trying to say, was.
                Yes, please do kiss that grandson.
                I remember when you and someone else here, can’t remember now…. The both of you were going back and forth like lightning. It was impressive.
                The wit was so sharp, so funny, I just wanted to stay out of the way.
                Rare gift… and punkin, you have it in spades.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Thank you. We ALL…. have our gifts…. and our vices.

                I am so glad to be a part of this Great Tree.

                You…. my friend….. make it Comfortable….
                Make it feel like “Home”.

                Liked by 1 person

  13. Can’t wait. Hope the rogue cops don’t silence them.

    Got message again….URL WAS BLOCKED BY A CONTENT BLOCKER. HOPE THIS MAKES IT THROUGH THIS TIME.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. CPA here. I can completely corroborate Daughn’s account.

    Largest personal return I prepared for a client was about 3/4″ thick. This was back when you didn’t have computers in-house to run them, you compiled a set of input sheets and courier’d ’em to a service bureau, and got the return back the next day. Then you verified their input, line-by-line, and traced everything through to its output on the return. All manually. You used different pen colors and symbols to indicate various levels of review.

    Further, I should note a worldwide pervasive practice that everyone in the biz knows about like a fish knows about water, and that is “consistent practices”. As an example, “office equipment” is supposed to be things used in an office with a useful life of more than one year — and, yet, nobody on the planet is depreciating staplers. They certainly could be — they last for well over a decade and provide value during their entire life. But people looked at the effort involved to book one as an asset and depreciate it, and made some sort of rule like, “everything under $150 gets expensed, even if you buy 1000 of it.”

    And someone might question this, asking, “how long has this rule been in place?” and get the answer, “the rule has been worded the same for 11 years, but the dollar figure went from $100 to $150 last year.” Less experienced auditors (or laymen, half-wits, village idiots, or congresscritters) might go, “Aha! Proof of inconsistency!” More experienced auditors might ask, “why the change?” and get the answer, “when the rule was originally written, minimum wage was $10/hour, and we back-of-napkin estimated that keeping track of an asset for its depreciable life might easily take 10 hours over the years……last year, the legislature passed a bill raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.”

    Mind you, if someone had a highly variable business and was expensing things up to $2000 in one year, then not expensing anything over $150 the next two, then expensing everything over $1200 the year after that — this is a pretty clear indication that things are being gamed. But reasonable, and reasonably steady policies — while not part of GAAP, tax law, or regulations — are waved through.

    As I said, people in accounting-land, grounded in real-world business, swim through this all the time. But having a bunch of unrealistic Green New Deal yahoos pawing through returns is just going to create a bunch of noise, stench, and embarrassment like, “each of his golf clubs customizes golf balls for its members’ use, which are expensed, but many of them don’t leave the club!!!!!” Which will get the reply, “lemme see…..are you saying we should inventory the balls submerged in our water hazards?!?!?!?”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Fabulous response!
      Made me laugh and squeal with delight.
      Anderson Cooper, so comfortable in water, needs to count golf balls. I have the visual.

      We could write essay after essay about “consistent practices”. As in, Daughn usually spends about $3K-4K on the day after Christmas shopping the sales, expensed as decorations for next year —–>>>>> as opposed to me trying to convince husband that only spending $500 on decorations for next Christmas would be “inconsistent practices” —>>> and therefore a BAD thing.

      Our CPA used to groan and hide when I walked in the door – but I did all the hard work for him. Be happy to see me, little hug. Gimme some sugar….

      Liked by 6 people

  15. Daughn, you and Cthulhu have inspiring as well as scary stories to this first class of 2 year accounting degree student! I like solving puzzles, untangling tangles, and consistency, so hopefully this ol’ dog can learn new tricks. VSGPDJT, Wolfmoon, and you, Daughn, are helping me find my voice and direction in life. I finalized my first creative writing project today. It is one I wrote for pleasure, not school. Now I have to learn how to post it on my Word Press site. Hubby has been my biggest cheerleader, but for the longest time, I did not have the self confidence that I needed. You inspire me Daughn, thank you.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. If I tell you an answer, I have to charge you. If I give you a direction to investigate, it’s free. When it comes to accounting, ask me anything.

      Where are you physically located? I’m currently in Silicon Valley. [This helps with time zone issues.]

      Accounting isn’t a bad gig — it has a certain odor of medieval guilds and clannishness, but you can do good work and make a good living. OTOH, I’ve got a niece who is nailing it — she’s going to be pharmacist in July. My career path was bumpy and scary sometimes — though it always lead upward. I can only look at my niece’s anticipated career with envy.

      While I was a staff accountant, I was once headed home to my apartment at 9:00 PM during tax season and stopped by a supermarket to buy frozen dinner. The checker rang up my purchase and cheerfully announced the total. I asked what the hell he was so happy about. He said, “I’m working more than 10 hours today and 40 hours this week on a holiday weekend, so I’m making triple-time — 36 bucks an hour.” At the time, I had a college degree in accounting and had a year’s experience and was paid salary. At 40 hours a week, I was theoretically making $12/hour. I was actually working 60+ hours per week.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. We are in same time zone. I am in Puget Sound area of WA. Thanks for the words of support. It is amazing sometimes that college education is not always the higher paying job route.

        Liked by 2 people

            1. Help! I can’t see it again.
              The Les Deplorables pic it all over the text.
              I can make out “cool summer breeze” but the text gets lost.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I think it’s fixed to a plain white background. Let me know please. I just hunt and peck through settings and hope it works. Not a clue as to what and why anything is working. That’s how all the deplorable graphics ended up all over!

                Liked by 1 person

  16. I learn something every single day here. Thanks for sharing your insight Daughn….I couldn’t begin to fathom the world of corporate accounting, so thanks for breaking it down. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I just want to add:

    Most people THINK tax accounting is straight forward arithmetic because they live in an apartment, have a 8:00-4:30 job, have simple W-2s and no deductions.

    The reality is as Daughn has shown, tax accounting is anything BUT simple. It is part Art, part Science and a LOT of DOGGEDNESS and PERSUASION by very sharp accountants dueling with IRS agents.

    The DemonRats are COUNTING on the fact people have no real understanding of business tax accounting to bamboozle them with disinfomation.

    Liked by 3 people

          1. Learning lots too! Pardon the bad grammar. Accounting introduction is getting the brain cells rattled. A whole new genre of lingo for this former teacher and home health aide. I have taken to talking about it with the 🐕. She yawns!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I remember my first class in “Cost Accounting”. I spent 31 hours looking for 47 cents.
              It’s all about the trial balance, babe!!
              Good luck!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thanks! I am still in my Introduction to Business class. There are so many terms, they’re building up on each other and if I don’t get one the whole thing doesn’t make sense. However, falling back on lessons learned here and from CTH. It helps. Thank you for the encouragement.

                Like

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