Discussion:What's Happening To This Board?

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Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
This problem keeps reoccuring.

I thought this board was for tax professionals to consult with one another. The opening disclosure even states this yet some members here feel it's their obligation to offer advice without really knowing actual facts to respond. Perfect examples-Ian 777 with S Corp issues who sounds as if he isn't conversant with tax terms, gives conflicting and incomplete details, and Peabody with a condo con version. Isn't this what we as professionals get paid for from clients who come to us for advice? I lost a very long term business and personal tax client about 5 years ago, primarily, not solely, because no matter what advice I'd give her after she'd ask me, she would then proceed going to the internet to the free advice boards - probably distort or conceal some facts - probably misinterpret what she's been told -then probably not tell me the truth when calling me back - to challenge me on what I originally advised her based on the facts I know. She was a client who would deviously not tell me everything so I would give her the answer she wanted to hear rather than hear the truth. I realize not everyone is like that - but I thought the purpose of this board was for professionals to consult with one another in conversant tax lingo, and not give out free advice wasting my time as a reader of new threads to members of the public that are really seeking answers to bona fide questions who don't really know the relevant facts to discuss.

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I like this board. I like to give my opinion on questions from time to time. Discuss the ones that you choose. For example, you once aswered a students school question. Should we limit this board to student questions only?

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I guess you really didn't understand my post.

I get real frustrated reading a post from someone who wants us to either solve their homework assignment or answer a tax question that really should be asked directly to a tax professional. The tax subjects are okay-it's always educational to read another tax pro's response regarding a real tax issue - but when I learn it's from an outsider looking for us to give them answers, it burns me out and discourages me from using this board. As for answering that student's tax questions a year ago - yes I did it - but realized afterward that it only encouraged that person to come back to be more dependent on us.

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Ooh. The outsiders who want free answers. I try to leave the long ones alone. Some on the board need practice answering typical client question. The added info on those discussions is at times useful.

Jdugancpa (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Unc, I answered Ian's question & would do it again. You are correct, he wasn't conversant with S corp issues. My answer recommended a course of action and further recommended he discuss it with his accountant. The only person it "cost" to provide that advice was me, for the time it took me away from chargable work. I didn't solve the guy's problems, merely pointed out what they were. It is between him and his accountant to straighten the whole mess out.

TheTinCook (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I don't mind the questions so much from the lay people unless its crunch time during the tax season, or if its a really basic answer or a "fast elephant," in that case a simple "use the search box" or "go to HR Block"(I can use the clients) will suffice. Many times, I have seen the members tell the poster to seek local help so that the professional can have access to all the details.

Many times the questions are useful. Sometimes they relate to an area of taxation I don't know nothing about, or reveal an obscure aspect of tax law I didn't know. Almost always, its an exercise on how to explain things to clients, which is always an useful skill to hone.

I understand how ticked you are about losing that client. It's pretty much a part of doing business. The worst are the refund shoppers last season. Those guys are a real PITA, especially since I can't bill them, and it impacts my performance (HRB policy).

I've also had a couple of clients coming in during April wanting to double check TurboTax. It's annoying, even more so when TurboTax is correct. At least they pay. Then there are the phone calls asking for free advice. My personal favorite are the little old ladies asking if they need to file this year.

I've also had a couple of clients say that return is so simple that they could do it themselves. Sometimes its true, so I say "Sure you probally could, but what if things change?" and go into a little tax planning. A decent portion of my clients last season were 1040-ez's, so I don't go out of the way too point a DIY option.

Ekurla (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Unforturnately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, this forum has grown in popularity and anyone using google can find this site faster than I can do a 1040-EZ. Hence, we get a broad spectrum of people looking for free help. We can whine about it or do something more productive like build a tower out of ten-key paper rolls and paperclips (I made a sweet one just the other night).

Lively (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I really like this board. I fly solo and I appreciate being able to run things by other accountants. (I did it today.)

TheTinCook (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Ekurla-

No tower can withstand the might of my catapult made from #2 pencils and rubber bands.

Ekurla (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Maybe, but I use my envelope moistener to secure my tower and it is mighty.

Bengoshi (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Uncle Sam, it's true that this forum is intended for tax professionals. And members often do wind up giving out free advice to laypeople. Sometimes these folk end up questioning our advice or distort the facts based on what they "learn" online. It's unfortunate, and I do agree that the members here should start limiting replies to non-tax pros (or give the "seek a tax pro" suggestion). But this isn't the only tax forum out there, so we all have to deal w/ this problem regardless of what gets posted on this site. We need to try our best to educate our clients that they can't always believe what others write online. And if they're the type to distort the facts to hear what they want, they probably aren't the type of client you want to keep.

Bengoshi (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I also admit that sometimes I just reply to someone's post simply b/c no one else did (I feel sorry for the poster).

BethAZ (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
The people who post on this board inspire me.

Tin and Ekurla, you guys crack me up!!! ROTF!!!

PureABC (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Bengoshi wrote "..It's unfortunate, and I do agree that the members here should start limiting replies to non-tax pros (or give the "seek a tax pro" suggestion). But this isn't the only tax forum out there, so we all have to deal w/ this problem regardless of what gets posted on this site. We need to try our best to educate our clients that they can't always believe what others write online. And if they're the type to distort the facts to hear what they want, they probably aren't the type of client you want to keep."


This is a delicate and interesting issue. And I can understand the different sides of the argument. But I agree with Bengoshi's position that we have to do something about.

I know that coming up with another forum was discussed earlier this week and I agreed with the majority consensus that it will just give some of us more reasons (excuses) to spend a lot of time here. But what about having one forum just for tax lay people? That way we can easily segregate the two.


We shouldn't just turn them away. Who knows? They may be useful tomorrow! Keep them here but in another forum. So how do we ensure that lay people wouldn't be able to post here? We have to give that a little more thought to come up with a solution that doesn't make joining the forum too burdensome for professionals (or even the lay people to some extent).


Every profession (Lawyers, Doctors, IT, accountants) is being forced to deal with similar issues one way or the other.


The irony is that sometimes even professionals may have very basic questions (well simpler than a lay person's) as others have mentioned already. They are all useful to the questioners and some of us learn a lot from them too.

As Bongoshi also said, if your client cannot trust you or distorts facts to make sure they get "their answer," you probably shouldn't want him/her around in the long term either.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
For me, it's about community and learning. We regularly tell folks that they need a tax pro to help, even while we try to at least care for their concerns. As we do that, we do join together in that caring process. People come with concerns and fears, and need some direction and encouragement. In doing that, we represent the best. And we all learn in the process, not merely taxes, but also how to deal with people. Some of us have been at it for a while, some haven't. People matter, and when they show up here, we need to be kind.

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Just about the ONLY legitimate excuse I've read from the other posters' replies for answering these outsider questions is 'It gives you good practice at answering questions". Yes, I agree that has some merit. But you really don't know the effect it has - because you don't have to deal with that person - live.

The only alternative I see - is for NOONE to answer those people, unless it's been entered into a different discussion thread specially segregated for Non-Pros - so those that wish to answer can - without disrupting the spirit for the rest of us who enjoy reading concerns of other professionals in clearer, more concise, better expressed terms -without reading through it and then realizing it's a non-pro. Having to read Ian777 and others like it just turn me off and away from this board.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
Who's gonna do the segregrating, what is the definition of a non-Pro, and how will the person(s) charged with segregrating know?

The non-Pros can make their user name Joe6PackCPA, and start the question with "I have a client...".

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Yes, there is a lot of dreck, but then we get something like Discussion:Living with girlfriend and her kids Qualifying Child (pre 2008-5) which has a lot more relevance to most of us than interminable discussions about S Corps and health insurance or use of home office, or questions from so-called professionals who want every client to have six LLCs. In fact the feeling here is that if we are to stop answering anyone, it should be 'professionals' who are actually investment advisors who dabble in tax preparation.

I would take suggestions more seriously if the OPs would fill in their profile. I know the OP of this thread has both his CPA and is an EA, and I admire this level of achievement, but I had to learn this by reading his posts.

Kathyt (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
D&T you stole my reply, I was just going to look up that discussion to link it here. I used to be in favor of splitting the board until that discussion. That's the one that changed my attitude, it was very thought provoking.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
Actually, in my world, it IS the S corp/LLC questions that are most meaningful. Since I'm not a retail shop, I don't care about all the odd dependent issues/QC/HOH....my eyes glaze over that stuff pretty fast.

And Uncle, a few Non-Pros have been posting the past few days, and they have letters after their names. Some of my clients could do better than them...so yeah, who decides and where do you start? We all appreciate the reminder that we can damage relationships in the real world, tho' some of them, frankly, need to be damaged.

Taxman7 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
definition of a tax pro? could be if you have prepared a minimum of 1 tax return in the last 3 open years that you were paid for,,,,

why not create a category for 'General public tax questions' then those that are interested can comment on the post? personally I get a lot of education from reading most of the posting, when I'm not interested, I hit the 'back' button, p.s I thought the only pasttimes were when I played solitaire,, whoops, it's time to get to work , got an extensionated s-corp apt. in a few minutes, waited to last minute, but I'll add a

pro(crastinator) charge, alright quit ramblin' and go to work,,,

Taxref (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Its clear that the primary intent of this forum is practioner-to-practioner. Barring a restriction by the board managers on questions from non-professions, though, about all one can do is choose not to respond to certain questions. Another option is to refer the person to a message board which is intended for such questions, such as MSN's Tax Corner. Yahoo also used to have a board for non-pros to ask questions; I don't know if its still around.

My situation is just about the opposite of JR1's, as I have no clients with the kind of multiple-entity scenarios we see on this board frequently. Consequently I learn by reading those threads, while I'm able to contribute more on the small S corp, 1040 dependent, and filing status kind of questions. It just goes to show that we have a wide range of practioners here on this board.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Apologies to JR. My comment was more brought about by the fact that after 100 replies to that one question, it still seems like nothing is settled.

We've been down this road before, and as PVV points out, how do you screen? So many do not fill in profiles, and so many add 'TAX' after their handle, or worse, PA, CPA, EA even though they might not qualify. I'm waiting for KNOWSNOTHINGABOUTTAX to post.

One thing I do note is how many of the discussions are California-centric, but that is no problem to me.

As I noted once before when this issue arose, this Board is like my Dish Network, a place where the professional can surf, pick and choose the discussions that are of interest, and put into it what they want.

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Do you folks recall - about a year ago you had this lady named Bridgette who knew, or claimed to know elementary bookkeeping and whose husband was an attorney (or working toward being one) who had come here to seek advice because she couldn't afford to pay an accountant for her rather stressful problem?

Well - it turned out that the more she posted and disclosed to us - she had PREVIOUSLY consulted with a tax professional (but didn't tell us that in the original post) - the deeper her problems really were that we really couldn't properly advise her. But in her original post she felt that because she knew bookkeeping she was able to solve her own financial problems. And people on this board kept answering her, and then she'd come back again with more questions as if we were here to bail her out. We aren't responsible for everyone's problems that they get into on their own when they're not honest with themselves, let alone a public message board.

AHH (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I may be banned from here after this, BUT, here goes....

Talk about a subject "beat-to-death" this sure has been. People complain constantly here about "non-professionals" posting. It's a public forum for heavens sakes and lots of times the responses given are sooooooo unprofessional, and by those who claim to be professionals. Downright mean, rude, incensitive, arrogant. I have searched other similar forums and NOT ONCE have I witnessed the kind of attitudes shown here. Does it kill people here to show a little respect and understanding. Yes, the same questions are often asked multiply times. I raised my children with the philosphy "NO question is EVER stupid" and How many times do I have to answer the same question?, "AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES."

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
AHH, Discussion:When is a question Stupid?? maybe the question is not stupid, but us answering it for the 24th time when someone could easily look it up is certainly stupid.

So I will change my response to say: "When is an answer stupid???"

Do you know that I even edited the instructions on the page "Ask a question" to try to lead people to use the little yellow search box? I even gave them hints at how to search "earnest money" or "s corp salary", yet people don't take the time to read the instructions and ask the VERY SAME QUESTION anyway.


The answer to "When is an answer stupid???" is "WHEN IT HAS ALREADY BEEN ANSWERED ADEQUATELY"



And DT, as much as I enjoyed the discussion about the girlfriend, I would honestly have made the same point in a discussion started by a fellow professional. It was just the question that popped up and I saw the answer differently than all of the other people on the board. Remember, I am out every fall talking with THOUSANDS of tax professionals so I KNOW HOW THEY THINK and I KNOW WHAT THEY LEARN and often there is more to a story than what is in the official IRS Publications.

My goal in that discussion was to get people thinking and doing a little research for themselves (hey, is that any different than asking them to use a yellow box?), rather than just to recite something.

AHH (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
When your young child asks, for the second time, "Daddy, what's 2+2?" Do you scream at that child,"THAT'S A STUPID QUESTION. I'VE ALREADY ANSWERED THAT ONCE. GO TYPE IT IN THE YELLOW SEARCH BOX." I pray no one here would do that. Perhaps that example is a little "elementary" for this particular subject and this particular forum, but the manner in which we respond should be the same. Mind you, Kevin, and all here, I am pointing NO fingers.(If the shoe fits...well the wearer knows he/she can don the hat.) I am merely suggesting that there are alternative means for replying, or NOT replying, to ANY poster. Because there are no visual aides to determine human demeanor, words typed here can be brutal OR seem harsher than intended, therefore "due diligence" must be practiced to the inth degree. In my simple mind, being classified "professional" has more to do with how one carries themselves than with their acquired, or self-appointed, title. IMHO, this forum need not be exclusive, simply conducted in a more polite and decent manner.

I promise that is all I will say on this subject. Let the banning vote begin.

PureABC (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
PVV said --Who's gonna do the segregrating, what is the definition of a non-Pro, and how will the person(s) charged with segregrating know? The non-Pros can make their user name Joe6PackCPA, and start the question with "I have a client...".


Well, that is the bigger question. If it's feasible, will it be possible to ask some basic tax questions of all new sign-ups. Just 2 to 5 true or false questions to test newbies. If you get 3 or more wrong, the system then limits you to read only access in the Pros forum (but read and write [i.e. ask] access in the non-pros forum).

Still, segregating pros and non-pros won't be any easier.

Ekurla (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
While you have been whining and complaining, I built one of the best towers yet, and I think I accomplished a lot more than these posts have.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
That is what I said on another thread: before you can ask a question, have a sign in with required fields that belong on the profile. At least then the posers can be spotted easier.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
I vote for banning AHH, just to make this interesting. Image:smile.jpg

Reread this from him: People complain constantly here about "non-professionals" posting. It's a public forum for heavens sakes and lots of times the responses given are sooooooo unprofessional, and by those who claim to be professionals. Downright mean, rude, incensitive, arrogant. I have searched other similar forums and NOT ONCE have I witnessed the kind of attitudes shown here. Does it kill people here to show a little respect and understanding. Yes, the same questions are often asked multiply times. I raised my children with the philosphy "NO question is EVER stupid" and How many times do I have to answer the same question?, "AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES."

Now, after you ban him, ban me. I'm with that all the way....it's not great pain for me to answer the same things over and over and over and over, sometimes in the same friggin' day! Some pain, but not great.

BethAZ (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Shall we boycott the unwashed? I vote no. Let them post and eat cake.

I vote that those who do not want to answer certain questions may simply move on to other questions.

It would be nice to have a nonpro area, but PVV is right on. That won't work.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
PVV's right? Geez, now HE's gonna get a big head, and need a bigger wig.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
Yeah for me!

The TA Forum should have a policy that does not tolerate intolerance.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I travel quite a lot and often purchase my hotel rooms and rental cars on Priceline. I am a member of a board that gives Priceline advice: Biddingfortravel.com. Before you are allowed to ask for help, you must answer the specific questions in the specific order so that someone can help you and you must state that YOU HAVE READ the FAQs.

So, YES, I do see it on other discussion boards.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I don't see that a sign-in format to ask a question is such a bad idea: Choose a screen name, check off professional status [CPA, EA, Attorney, PA, Other (please fill in) and Amateur, or some such word]. How many returns do you PREPARE AND SIGN every year: Less than 10, 11-100, 100+? If more than 10, do you work for yourself (including partner in a partnership, or LLC).

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
That's kind of a good idea. Instead of amateur, let's use: biz owner, IRS agent, disgruntled employee...etc.

KatieJ (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Not all of us are tax preparers. I don't prepare and sign ANY returns (other than my own, of course). Consulting only.

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I'll go along with D & T's idea of a sign in process - to distinguish tax pros from non-pros. That way - it would do away with this whole much debated issue.

But change the system from what is currently in operation. Have the pros sign in with their professional license number, non-pros sign in as either JQ Public, Other Business Professional - and have that designation shown on top of the post. Then before a reader goes through reading the whole post - at least he/she will know where the question is coming from. Or keep a separate section for the non-pros, so only those wishing to answer it can do so. It also would keep the pro section clear those who wish to communicate only with fellow practitioners can do so without wasting their time reading.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
Professors, retired whatever's, spouses of bus. owners....

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
Katie: that is why I suggested "Other" I see that category for the CFP or others in the financial field.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
Consultants, financial planners, sellers of 105/1031's...knuckleheads, troublemakers,

Riley2 (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
JR1, a forum is an interchange of ideas, not a place to get free legal and tax advice. I don't have a problem with people asking for free tax advice, as long as they don't expect a response.

Taxman7 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
Ekurla, can you upload a pic of that tower, I'm having trouble keeping my from falling, and , no I haven't done a search to see if there's one already posted,,,, knucklehead, who's a knucklehead?

o.k. let's move on, I see my gemclip is slipping,,,

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
Well,when I said troublemaker, I realized that that was my category. Oh, more...whacked, silly, grumpy...

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
I'm jealous. I don't think I even have enough paperclips to build a tower!

As far as the postings on this forum go, I do agree some have not been nice. As others have stated, I think it's easy enough just to move on if you don't like the question. I have not used any other sites that require a "test" to sign up, so I'd like to be able to try it out before I comment on that.

GeoEA1065 (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
God forbid we should educate the general public on tax questions. I would not want to season to get to boring with nobody asking dumb questions because they had already looked it up here. I usally get my advice trumped not by this board but by "The Brother In Law" and the "Real Estate Broker" both of whom seem to have a triving tax business. I have gotten a few clients from answering "free" questions over the phone. Most are grateful that someone would take the time to answer their questions. I chalk it up to advertising and PR. And the best remedy for all those annoying unprofessional post is to not read them.

Solomon (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I think this must be the third or fourth time this topic has been beat to death - correction, it is still alive. Health insurance for a S Corp shareholder in the name of the business rather than the individual doesn't rise to this level.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
no one will take responsibility for bringing in the fast elephants

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
You hit it on the head, Kevin!

JAD (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I am chiming in to agree with AHH, very well spoken regarding an issue that I have noticed many days of my 6 months here, (I will be voting against the ban!) and to agree with JR1, "People matter, and when they show up here, we need to be kind."

Jdugancpa (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
In the words of the famous peace-meister, Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along???"

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
I do try and I think I am patient with newbies of all stripes, but there are some of those who frequent the board as professionals who should know better. They rarely conduct a search, or tell us they have but then Kevin finds a discussion in five minutes, and this is chafes me. Or there is at least one person who simply never believes the answers when I write them, and then argues, so I will not answer his questions.

So do we have to suffer fools? We can all play the fool at times, but a few make it a speciality. God bless the rest of you.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
Are you talking about me? If so, I don't believe you.

Why won't you answer my question?

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

12 September 2007
As my all time favorite song goes, "You can't seem to hide your lying eyes."

Alas, I have no answers anymore. The guy who writes my material quit so all I can do is plagiarize while I sail off into the sunset, maybe on Michael's boat.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

September 12, 2007
D&T don't stop writing! You make me laugh. (BTW, I don't think Tim would allow plagiarizing on this website.)

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 13, 2007
Then why doesn't it bother anyone that NO ONE USES A FREAKIN' RESEARCH PRODUCT OUT THERE????? That's what chafes me. Do NOT call yourself a professional and wing it with the IRS site. Remember who wrote that stuff. They're not on your team! (Feeling better now.)

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
Because not every tax situation that crops up is considered when the tax law is written and some judgement calls have to be made that aren't discussed in all the research literature.

The responses on this board really should not be considered a substitute for tax research - only guidance of where to find the citation that most closely describes your situation.

Taocpa (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
I like the idea of a sign-in process, D&T.

AHH, your post is very valid.

As a sole-proprietor CPA, I do admit to sometimes feeling stupid when asking a question. But at the point I ask it, I've exhausted my research and my cerebral cortex is on overload. With the guidance I receive from most, I then go back and see where I might have erred in my research. It helps me to be a better researcher for the next time.

It does seem we have those who jump in here to get free advice. It can be rather annoying, but as others have said, you don't have to answer it. No one is forcing us to answer them.

My strategy is if I don't recognize a name, I look at the profile first. If nothing is there, then I might bother if I know the answer. If I don't, it's probably because I am outside killing a kitten.

Sw (talk|edits) said:

September 13, 2007
I don't see where Uncle Sam has filled out his profile.

BethAZ (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
I agree with Uncle Sam's observation about not substituting this forum for research and am especially impressed with Kevin because of his dedication to the academic side of tax work. His constant sniping and sarcasm reminds me to pay attention to the fact that this career constantly evolves, and one must keep up.

There are people who post here who offer inspiration to be better, know more, study harder. These are people who give of their knowledge and experience. The only way I know of to truly repay that kindness and generosity is to pay it forward.

It's so important to spend the money on a good reference library. And STUDY the information. I buy lots of vitamins and exercise equipment. Never touch 'em. Not so with the reference materials. Perhaps I should read while on the treadmill or fancy exercise bike, but it's difficult to do that and eat Cheesypoofs at the same time. I digress.

This forum is wonderful as a starting point for research, but obviously cannot serve as a main means of discovering and interpreting the tax code. Obviously this forum and any advice given to the unwashed cannot substitute needs that can only be addressed by a qualified professional who can dedicate his or her time and attention to the particulars. Obviously this forum is a terrific way for tax pros to hash out the strange esoterica of that permeates our profession. Obviously it is harder to obtain a CPA license. Obviously it is waste of time to compare apples and oranges.

I have found the most benefit here by being inspired to truly excel by those individuals who so kindly and patiently GIVE their wisdom with no reward other than to simply help out some schmuck like me, who means well and wants very much to know at the end of the day that I've done a good job.

I graduated from college right out of high school with a BA in English. Twenty years and lots of clerical, bartending, whatever jobs later, I graduated with a BS in Accountancy and received my CPA license the next year. To be able to do it all over again....To be able to have had the Big 4 experience....To be able to have had the years it requires to call oneself a true expert....that's lost to me, and I sometimes have regrets. Except for the time I was a driver for a major motion picture and met George Carlin. He is funny in real life, but a real nut case about organic food requirements. I digress.

The people who post on this forum have given me hope and have encouraged me to play "catch-up". I did not know how to research the IRC before this. I looked for expediency in preparing tax returns rather than correct application of the tax code. I have never consciously played the audit lottery and never will, but have learned things since that leave me very dismayed at mistakes I've made through inexperience. I am becoming a better CPA because of you people. I am becoming more comfortable with my choices because of you.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
"Kevin ... His constant sniping and sarcasm..."

I am practicing to be a motivational speaker. How's that going so far?

Taxman7 (talk|edits) said:

September 13, 2007
Thanks everyone who has contributed to this post, thanks Kevin, I look forward to your comments, often they do motivate us in a positive way,,, as we have searched our souls, I've seen several business policies, attitudes, as well as some comical reports, e.g. towers, catapults, kittens, elephants, etc,,,,,, I like the idea of a identification process, one that would keep the forum open to the public, but yet would identify the one making the original post and/or comment and the ones adding to the post, ID would show at the OP and also at each comment,,,, this could be done by categories, such as, CPA, EA, Tax Professional, Guest, Non-Pro, etc as suited, this could still be on the 'honor system' , but would help to narrow down where these questions are coming from and we would know more about the ones we're talking to,,, about educating the public too much, I'm not concerned about that, because the IRS spends millions of $ every year on public ed, and that hasn't worked so far,

JAD (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
All,

If we required ID of each poster and that ID was disclosed, wouldn't we loose Riley2? Would any of us give up Riley just to separate the professionals from the public?

BethAZ (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
Kevin, you have found your niche :) Please be aware that your comments have certainly motivated me to increase my reference library - to get the materials I need to look it up - that many questions do not have "fuzzy" answers and one needs to get educated on the proper use of the tax rules. You remind us to pay attention to the academia of this work in order to faciliate the practical side. I enjoy clever sniping and sarcasm, BTW and look forward to reading your posts! I meant that as a compliment.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
JAD: I think the idea is to have those without handles go through this process. Also, Riley rarely asks a question, and only does so to refer to the Board items he receives privately.

Corptaxhelp (talk|edits) said:

September 13, 2007
{yawn} Is it that time of year again? I hope it wasn't my turn the bring the dead horse. I brought brownies instead. Please share.

Seriously though, read a few threads and you'll know if someone is a professional or not. Read a few more threads and you'll find out if a person knows their stuff or not. Read a few more threads and you'll have a sense of who is an expert in which area. This isn't rocket science nor a substitute for actually sitting down with a tax professional. It never will be nor should it necessarily attempt to be.

Occasionally, I'll check a profile if I'm on the bubble about the information provided. More important that what I read in the profile are the forum citations. A forum award (the rusty barn star) or metal-level contributor will always rank higher in my mind than someone who has low posts but has a glowing resume with lots of capitalized acronyms.

I get smarter by reading even the stupid questions because most topics here are outside my area of expertise. The more well-rounded I become, the better I can assist my clients. I also understand that I'm not required to read any topic that is not interesting to me. This discussion forum is goofing off and is not my day job.

So, the best advice I can give is to read with a grain of salt and be kind to all. When this stops being fun (or at least amusing), take a break.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
Everyone here is a little different, and that's the strength of the board. The search feature has it's own limitations, but hey, it's free. There's really not a time I come on here that I don't learn something. The key here to me is that most of us are solo's, we can't walk down the hall and have that interoffice discussion we need, and this provides an excellent resource for that.

Sea-tax (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
While I post very little to the TA and usually only when I feel I have something worth while to say, I lurk often. I personally like the board as is, sure it has some down sides and I will admit that answering a Scorp salary questions 20 times can drag on someone. But guess what? You have the ability to not respond, ignore , walk away , pay no attention, no one is forcing you to read or answer that 20th salary for scorp question.

I think all of us need to remember that Intuit set this up as a public forum for all to participate, not just a select few, if that was the case only lacerte and proseries, TT and Qb purchasers would be able to participate. With that of my chest , thanks to all who write questions, answer questions and generally contribute, it is what make this forum worth its weight in gold.

WesR (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
Hi be kind never :). My motto is if you dont want to answer something because it is just stupid or beat to death just dont answer. I try to only be sarcastic to the regulars cause I know they love me. bye

Jdugancpa (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
Wes, sarcastic? Nah!

Sea-tax, exactly how much does a cyber forum weigh? Are you denigrating this forum when you say it is worth its weight in gold? (I learned my sarcastic ways from Wes).

Sea-tax (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
jdugancpa- HAHAHAH you get my point ! :)

Ekurla (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
Wow, this thread is one crazy long thread full of a lot of good stuff. Since so many of you are sharing your deep love for this forum I figured I would give a shout out as well. I defintely have learned a lot from this forum (like EAs do not work for Electronic Arts as video game developers) and I would like to contribute more but I am a selfish bastage and just a young grasshopper in tax who needs more discipline and a larger capacity brain. Thanks to those who contribute.

By the way I am all for segregation and prejudice they seem like great ideals and have worked really well in the past.

BethAZ (talk|edits) said:

13 September 2007
Cut it out. I'm still LMAO over your "...I use my envelope moistener to secure my tower and it is mighty" comment!!!

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