One Year of Taxing Crankiness…

WordPress just informed me that today is the one year anniversary of this, my humble blog.

On this momentous occasion – the first anniversary of the internet sensation that is my obscure blog. I would like to thank all of you who made Cranky and Taxing such an amazing, astounding success.

To those four people who actually read or watch this drivel… thank you. To those who actually follow me – you are my raison d’être. I love you more than Chocolate Covered Frozen Key Lime Pie on a stick. (Which is a lot! Cause that stuff is awesomeness x infinity)

Well I do exist to do actual work as well – but the sentiment is somewhat valid. Well I think it is… Anyhoo…
I hope year two will be more fun-filled and wacky!

Thanks Again!



The Fun Never Ends at One Judiciary Square!

Well, I am beginning to digest the USTC Exam experience. It was very, very, very difficult. Thank you all for your support – the questions on evidence were really just odd…

DC was so beautiful, I enjoyed my trip immensely. However, I had my wallet lost or stolen in the courthouse one hour before the test. So I lost all my cash, all my credit cards, my driver’s license and several business cards and the wallet was once of my favorites. It was just a Coach wallet but I loved it.

After my wallet was MIA I would not have been able to take the test, as I needed an appropriate ID to sit for the exam but providence intervened and I had my passport – which I rarely carry when I travel domestically.

So, I was a bit distracted during the test.

I think I did well on Tax Court practice and procedure, attorney ethics, substantive tax law, but I am not sure about evidence. They did not have one question of documentary evidence it was all oral testimony questions. We rarely use that in tax cases exclusively, so I was prepared to answer about laying proper foundation for documentary evidence, expert witness testimony and the business records exception to hearsay.

I could not remember the exact name of one of the hearsay exceptions that I knew applied to one question – so I tried to explain the concept and how it related to the situation. I think I completely blew the first question. I said the objection should have been overruled when I now think it should have been sustained, but you may get partial credit if the judges like your logic and reasoning. Since I wrote something like – this question is completely stupid, therefore I should get credit for recognizing its complete idiocy. Furthermore, the person who wrote this question should be sued for the pain and suffering they are currently causing me due to the fact the question is so moronic. Soooo – I’m not sure if I will get any points.

I am also worried that in my state of mind I might have missed some questions – I made a comment that I was expecting a question on res judicata and one of the test takers said they believed they answered a question on that term. I remember answering on joinder of issue but not res judicata.

The tax law on the test was nothing I had not done many times, so I think I did well – mostly calculations on basis and taxable gain. Stuff like that…

I will know in March or April if I pass – if I didn’t pass I am fine with that although I felt the test was not anything I couldn’t have passed, if I was remotely prepared for the evidence questions – oh well, nothing I can do now but pace the floors.

Taxes are indeed Taxing

Hello Blog readers!

I am having a great week – I hope all of you are having as much fun as I am – although you might actually be doing things “normal people” consider fun.

I, on the other hand, am writing a comprehensive tax research paper for a client on recent US Tax Court rulings on Sub Chapter S-Corporations in relation to distributions made to shareholders, expense items considered “disguised” distributions and cases when personal use of inventory is considered a distribution to a shareholder. Additionally, the substantiation accepted by the US Tax Court to prove the validity of distributions made to the shareholders. I am not writing an opinion on anything specific, it’s more like an explanation of the rulings of the court – merely stating the circumstances of the case and the way the court treated the information provided in context of the case.

Pretty fun..huh…

Usually people hire me to give an opinion on something specific – if a situation or proposed tax transaction conforms to the current tax laws or the possible outcomes of a tax position taken. So this is a bit new for me – the fun never ends!

Hey…you still awake? Yea – well then, why are you snoring?

Anyway here is a video – I hope you like it 🙂

Studying for the USTC exam

This November I am sitting for the written examination for admission to practice before the United States Tax Court for applicants other than attorneys. This will be my first attempt and hopefully my only attempt at this test. (because I will pass – not because I will give up – oh yes that coveted title will be mine)

Due to the approaching test date, I will not be making many long winded (written) posts, but will continue to update this blog everyday.

I am not having any issues so far with the past exam questions in relation to tax law, practice and procedure or attorney ethics. The tax law questions, while challenging, encompass issues I have defended or argued in the past.

The only difficulty I am experiencing is with Federal Rules of Evidence. I have two very brilliant attorneys tutoring me so the requisite knowledge is slowly sinking into the dense rock like matter in-cased in my head.

I work a lot with attorneys and have received positive feedback on my legal analysis of evidentiary rules from the poor saps – I mean suckers – uh I mean fine professional collegues that have bravely been coerced – uh I mean that volunteered their time to my somewhat nobel cause. Oh course, when I pass the test they get all sorts of free tax work so lets hope their investment pays off for them.

I have a great deal of experience in writing tax law analysis but evidence rules is something I have not really attempted to even understand. Whenever I have had to do litigation support the evidence stuff was the attorneys’ job, I just provided whatever was requested.

My long suffering family is used to my constant obsessive working and I am sure they are thinking of the increase in billable opportunities that a new designation will provide. Which in turn will mean increased income to purchase various man toys – such as paintball guns and video games. Oh and I am sure my son will want something as well – In addition to the outrageous financial requirements of his college tuition. 

I am just hoping finally afford to resume my former bad habits of reading fiction as opposed to tax references and CPE course materials. Although the 2012 master tax guide is truly gripping, and who can resist the heady allure of an online subscription to BNA Tax library, it’s seductive siren’s call is hard to resist. 

 Anyone who has any advice is encouraged to share it with me if they would be so kind.