On Being a boring person

Spending hour after hour reading the US tax code, revenue rulings, and tax court cases does something to a person. First it drains them of all personality, until they become a veritable wellspring of sedateness. (I realize that sentence doesn’t make any sense) Second they relate all of life’s troubles to the relevant tax consequences. Finally they bring up tax law happenings as if people actually will find these things intriguing.

You can all tell the tax law specialist in any meeting – hey are the one that doesn’t smile, doesn’t tell any jokes and scowl as they scribble cryptic notes on a legal pad that look like some extra-terrestrial alien code.

All problems, even personal relationship issues have tax implications to the tax expert. For example, a very good friend was relating an argument she was having with a companion who was also a business associate. My friend was pouring out her heart out on how her friend betrayed her by disclosing some very personal and embarrassing information to mutual acquaintances. Then my cohort explained that the gossipy professional colleague also claimed she could not pay the full amount that she owed my associate for services rendered. The offending business owner claimed she had to pay tax on the proceeds on her personal tax return. So she could only pay my friend.an “after tax amount” – outraged at the obvious tax fiction, I bellowed – that’s not true! I knew the woman operated her business as a C Corp, which files its own tax return. She paid my friend as a 1099 independent contractor and did not withhold taxes.

After about an hour explanation of the relevant tax rules, my pal had enough. Her words were something like – Girl, your job right now is to say – oh no she didn’t do that, that B$%#@! Not give a big stupid tax speech on the difference between C companies or tax whachacallits. I don’t care about tax crap right now! It confused me that she was not as upset about the tax misrepresentations.

The worse offense though is bringing up recent tax decisions in ordinary conversation. Like starting a conversation at a bar with – Oh! my god you won’t believe the  tax opinions the court published today…blah blah..drone..blah… can you believe it?

Thankfully tax experts don’t socialize much.

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