Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 17
For a long time this was a matter of great debate in our office, as to who was worse – Client A, or Client X, who took his business elsewhere and is now probably wandering around lost somewhere. So that left Client A in a class by himself. Until now, when new challengers have stepped forth. And it’s now a contest between:

Client A: The idiot husband of a successful doctor in another city. They haven’t filed a return for themselves or any of their entities since 2007, because he can never get the records together. He hasn’t got a real job but has sort of tried a couple of ventures that didn’t pan out. Other than that, he sort of looks after his wife’s interests. His position in the contest is in jeopardy if only because his wife got after him, finally realizing that they could be losing tax refund opportunities, and is pushing us to get 2009 filed. It’s impossible to nag either one of them. And he keeps telling her he sent us everything we need. And he’s always got an excuse, including hurricanes, floods, and his son stealing his computer. All of which are true, as far as I know, except the part about him sending us all the info we needed.

Client B: Is a gay hair stylist whose salon never makes any serious money, but he’s got a couple million, ostensibly from a history of being a gigolo, with a series of allegedly platonic relationships with some really rich old ladies. This year he had net long-term capital gains of $250K, and thought he wouldn’t owe any taxes, because the total included a capital loss, and somehow he thought that losses could be subtracted directly from his tax liability, leaving the gains to be taxed at a flat 15%. He just about died when I told him he owed $40K. [Not to fear, he has the money.]

Client C: New to the scene – the daughter of longtime clients, whose mother and husband died in the same year. Our involvement with her is limited to her father, her mother’s estate, and the family’s personal holding company. She told the family’s attorney that she had paid some back taxes to the IRS, and we couldn’t figure out what that would be all about. And she couldn’t really explain it. After a painfully long round of phone calls between her, the attorney, and me, she finally faxed him a copy of a 1041 she filed for the mother’s estate, without talking to either him or me. Apparently she had a phone conversation with some lady at the IRS who scared her to death, and she did a 1041 without talking to the lawyer or to me.

So who would you vote for:
Client A
Client B
Client C

Click here to see results so far.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
I will give Client C some slack. She has just lost her mother and husband, and then receives a call from the IRS. Making good decisions after the loss of a close family member can be very difficult.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
I will give Client C some slack. She has just lost her mother and husband, and then receives a call from the IRS. Making good decisions after the loss of a close family member can be very difficult.
==================================
Oh, I know. But fiduciary tax returns aren't something she does every day. And if you already have a relationship with a lawyer and an accounting firm, specifically with regard to this estate, wouldn't you at least call one of them before firing off a tax return for the estate?

This was a brand new one for me. She gets my vote, for originality.

One of the other guys in our office refuses to vote for client A. "HE's not dumb - he married a rich doctor! SHE's the idiot, for keeping him around!"


Bill
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I voted for A because there's a pattern. Also, "rich doctor"? OK, presumably you know their finances, so you'd know. But I wouldn't assume a doctor is rich. Plastic surgeon or orthopedist, maybe, but pediatricians and others make decent incomes but nothing special.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
But I wouldn't assume a doctor is rich.

Reminds me of this joke:

A doctor had no heat and looked down into his cellar to find a few feet of water down there. He called a plumber who brought a heavy duty pump and emptied it out quickly, found and fixed the leak in 15 minutes and presented a bill for $800. The doctor was upset. He said the bill was too much. I am a doctor and even I do not make money at that high a rate.

The plumber remarked, "Neither did I when I was a doctor."

A good plumber may be worth that. Not having to learn his trade at your expense.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 30
May I nominate an entry?

Every year, this client asks me if they would save on taxes if his wife quit working.

And every year I tell him: yes, without her income you would pay less in taxes. And then I ask him how he'd make his mortgage payment if she stopped working.

--Peter
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Oh, I know. But fiduciary tax returns aren't something she does every day. And if you already have a relationship with a lawyer and an accounting firm, specifically with regard to this estate, wouldn't you at least call one of them before firing off a tax return for the estate?

The correct answer is clearly YES.

Hopefully, you are able to fix whatever problem she created.

The IRS does instill fear. I was the lucky person assigned to a problem with our product at the IRS. Just seeing the IRS as the customer name especially this time of year caused an emotional response.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
And every year I tell him: yes, without her income you would pay less in taxes. And then I ask him how he'd make his mortgage payment if she stopped working.

--Peter


My husband was laid off, and decided to retire. 2012 was the first full year without his income. Our incomes were very close. The change from dual income to married single income does make a great deal of difference in taxes, but no where near the loss of his income.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
No rec for the OP?

Wradical Thanks for sharing the three anecdotes--

Thank you for recommending this post to our Best of feature.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Every year, this client asks me if they would save on taxes if his wife quit working.

And every year I tell him: yes, without her income you would pay less in taxes. And then I ask him how he'd make his mortgage payment if she stopped working.


I would vote for this client. The others were varying degrees of dumb, but this one is just so elegantly dumb it has to be #1.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
A, because they're now FOUR YEARS behind in filing taxes, and at least one of them has a PhD and should know better (yes, we're all busy but you gotta have somebody minding the store!). The wife also gets negative points for actually marrying a man who is clearly an idiot, being as educated as she is.

I think they did a movie about "B" didn't they? Wasn't Warren Beatty in that? We'll give him a pass for the fact that he probably doesn't have any blood flow left in his brain, given his side business.

C is just a dumb kid, not on a par with a DOCTOR who is four years behind on her returns.

Solidly "A"
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
C is just a dumb kid, not on a par with a DOCTOR who is four years behind on her returns.
======================
She's not, though. She's 65, or so, and a retired real estate appraiser.
Her parents were in their 90s. (And I just learned that her father died the day before yesterday, in case that merits sympathy points.)

Bill
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

She's not, though. She's 65, or so, and a retired real estate appraiser.
Her parents were in their 90s. (And I just learned that her father died the day before yesterday, in case that merits sympathy points.)

Bill


It doesn't help with the problem she created, but she definitely rates sympathy points.
Print the post Back To Top
Advertisement