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 – they are the one that doesn’t smile, doesn’t tell any jokes and generally is all round discomforting. The tax professional just scowl as they write cryptic notes on a legal pad – scribbles that look like some extra-terrestrial alien code.
Sometimes they will occasionally initiate odd tax code related dialogues, that seem pointless to everyone one but the tax person, who will be quite passionate about the issue.
Confident Tax Deity -“clearly we must consider code section 464 (b) (2) in this matter”.
Confused Meeting Attendee – “Uh you mean the cost of poultry purchased for sale shall be deducted for the taxable year in which the poultry is sold or otherwise disposed of?”
CTD – “well of course, or our goose is cooked.”
CMA – “but our chickens have not even hatched, but we did count them.”
CTD – “What you NEVER count them in a pre-hatched state that is clearly idiocy. I am surrounded by turkeys and loons! (That was pretty lame – I take full responsibility)
All problems, even personal relationship issues have tax implications to the tax practiced.
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” – I was outraged at the obvious tax fictionand 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. THE NERVE!!!
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 DID not 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. They were clearly relevant.
The worse offense though is bringing up recent tax decisions in ordinary conversation. Like starting a conversation at a local watering hole by loudly declaring – “Oh my god you won’t believe the published tax opinions today…blah blah..drone..blah… can you believe it. Yea they wanted to deny the increase in basis, I mean they made the contributions; it was a true economic outlay. Its madness”
The other happy drinkers are but now losing their buzz and plotting to ditch the square at the first chance. It’s funny the first seven times, but by the eighth it gets annoying.
Thankfully tax experts don’t socialize much.