User talk:Deback

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Great to meet you Deb!!

Thanks for posting your pic...I sure wish more would do the same...JR as Zorro or Rambo? hehehe

Got a nice client base there!!



Wow - very nice formatting on the Audits page!! Great work!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 08:41, 2 January 2007 (CST)

Links to Publications


You can link to Publications too - use the form [[Publication 17]]. They're not all there yet, but if you link to one that isn't there, I will add it ASAP.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 15:30, 2 January 2007 (CST)

Links to IRS


I'm only seeing two links needed using my method, not three. Am I missing something?

As far as which link is preferred, it might help if you see the longer-term aspects that come into play. Our vision is to continue to add content to TaxAlmanac so that it becomes a place where you can get to the information that you need, quickly, and freely. This would include any non-copyrighted content that users might need, such as publications, form instructions, topic overview information such as that found in QuickFinder, Code, Regs, IRBs, etc. Wouldn't it be great if this information was free and easy to find? Currently, we have some of this information, but not everything. Users are concentrating on the discussion forum, and that's a good thing, but I don't think they've seen the true power that this wiki site could offer. I need to find ways to encourage people to participate in the creation of TaxAlmanac, instead of just discussions. Because I can only do so much, I have created these 'quick link' pages to things such as pubs and Revenue Rulings. The content isn't there yet, but I hope we can import that content soon, making those pages contain the actual content and not just links to the content on the IRS website.

That's why I would prefer we use links to the TA pages instead of the IRS pages. Direct links to the IRS might save a click now, but they bypass the TA content that will someday be there. They also don't encourage people to start adding in summary information to these TA pages now. Also, if the IRS ever changes their directory structure, all of the links that have been added will break. Using my method, I can quickly change the TA pages to point to the new IRS structure, and all of the discussions will still link to the correct places.

So yes, direct links will work, they reduce user clicks by one, but they bypass some of the goals I have in mind with enriching TaxAlmanac to make it a better resource in the future. If you prefer the direct links, I'll stop updating the ones you add, but I hope this explains why I have been doing this a bit.

Thank you for all that you do. If you can think of other ways that we can get people to participate in creating topical pages, let me know. If you don't understand what I am referring to, let me know.

Thanks again,

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 16:20, 2 January 2007 (CST)

Your Comments

Ah - I didn't see that I had changed one which included a link to a specific part of a document - I try not to change those as changing them to TA links removes some of the information that was entered originally. Sorry about that.

Like the majority of other users, I'm only interested in the discussions here. I think we come here for something to do to fill the time (especially during the non-tax season time), to test our knowledge, feed our egos, and to discover areas of the tax laws that we need to become more familiar with. Most tax preparers aren't writers, so I can understand why articles are not being written on TA. I understand what you're trying to do, but I think the discussions are the most helpful to tax preparers and individuals.

I fully understand this. I think our understanding of how people will value TA is changing. Your comments clearly articulate what I have been thinking.

Thanks again, and I do appreciate all that you've done with this site.

You are very welcome! I am enjoying this quite a bit!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 17:34, 2 January 2007 (CST)

I 401k Schedule C deductions

Thanks for your answer Deb, it now makes sense to me.

The Tax mesiah


Thats me in Monte Carlo last year. I don't look like a CPA?? Not bad for 48!

New Idea


I'd like to discuss a new idea with you regarding the discussions. Would you be available to talk via phone? If so, I can send you an email and we can exchange that information. The discussion should take about 10 minutes maximum.


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 16:59, 7 January 2007 (CST)

New Idea, 2nd message

Hi Deb:

My "new idea" is to start categorizing the TA discussions, so that they'll be easier to find later.

This website allows any page to be fairly easily placed into one or more categories. These categories can be anything we want them to be - there's no "pre-set" list of categories that we have to follow.

Take a look at the recent topic Discussion:Bad debt. I can imagine that if we added two categories: Bad Debt and S Corporation that that might be handy. Imagine being able to view all other Bad Debt discussions just by clicking on Bad Debt at the bottom.

I'm coming to you because you've been great about adding links and learning a little bit more about the site (such as the Audit Count page). I think you'd be great at helping to get this started. It should only take a second for each topic, and I certainly don't expect you to do all of them! Just here and there as you see fit. I know you're in tax season now, so your time is important.

How is this done? Simply edit the topic (using the edit tab at the top), and on the blank line after the line that starts {{ForumThreadHeading, you'd type in something like this: [[Category:S Corporation]], then save the page. It's that easy.

One caveat - we need to be careful about going back through the older discussions. If we edit them, even to add categories, they'll float to the top of the discussion list and confuse people. I've asked to have this issue fixed so we can go back and add categories to the older discussions too.

If you jump in and do a couple, I'll help out, and then we can let others in on this so they can help out too. If you'd rather not, I'll understand that too. If you're confused, just let me know.


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 19:35, 7 January 2007 (CST)

Mind Meld?

That was strange! I was just editing the Bad Debt discussion too! Clicked save and then went and created those two category pages so they wouldn't be red. I thought I'd do one so you could see how it was done. I hope I didn't step on your edits!

Feel free to start now. I can create the category pages behind you.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 20:10, 7 January 2007 (CST)


No - they're all looking great so far! You're doing more than I thought you would tonight - that's great! Is it addicting?  :-)

Look at one with Partnership or S Corporation and click the link there. I added in topic pages as well as your discussions.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 21:06, 7 January 2007 (CST)

Adding categories

No, there's no limit to how many you can add, though 2 to 10 per discussion is probably more than enough.

Yes, we need to be aware that editing older messages means discussions that people are reading now or waiting for someone to answer might be scrolled off the front page, which would be a bad thing. I think we should continue to add categories to new discussions as they come in, and perhaps 1 or 2 older ones every hour or two... A few old messages here or there floating to the top shouldn't be too confusing.

See the link over on the left in the navigation box called Community portal? That's designed to be used to show others how to get involved here on TA, though it hasn't been used for that much and the content there is a bit stale. I'm thinking about starting a little page there to describe this activity, and ask others to join in - people could then say "I am on the discussion categorization team!" and have a place to go read about how we're doing, how to do it, etc. Other teams could be a "Welcome the New users team", "Add links to IRC, Regs, pubs team", etc. Thoughts?

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 21:33, 7 January 2007 (CST)



I saw one category that you added that was some sort of credit. What do you think about having a category just "Credits". Also, remember the Publication pages? We can categorize them as well, and we don't have to worry about confusing the discussion list. For example, I just added Category:Farmers to Publication 225. Note that for pages other than discussions, it is customary to put the categories at the bottom.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 22:04, 7 January 2007 (CST)


Picture was actually taken Summer of 2006. I was born in 1958. I was actually 46 at the time.

Category Pages


Thanks for keeping up with the category creation. As you add categories, I have been creating basically blank pages to hold them. This is what gets rid of the red links. It might make more sense if, after adding the category, you simply clicked on the red link, then typed a simple sentence like "These items all relate to traditional IRAs" or some very simple comment. Save that page and the links won't be red. I fear that I might miss one along the way. If this is too much for you, that's ok too.


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 10:54, 8 January 2007 (CST)


Thanks Deb! What about having a general category called Credits, and also having individual categories for specific ones? Take a look at the Category:Energy Credits page - I've actually categorized a category!  :-)

Basically, I'd suggest you add both the general Credits category as well as a specific one.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 11:11, 8 January 2007 (CST)

Sub Categories

You're rapidly progressing from beginner to advanced with all of this category stuff! To make subcategories, you would just add a category to a category page. So for example, you add a category to a discussion named "Energy Credit". You click the red link, enter a short comment, and also add a Category:Credits link to that page and save it. That's it!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 11:19, 8 January 2007 (CST)


You're unstoppable today! Great work!!!

Don't forget about your day job though!  :-)

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 16:31, 8 January 2007 (CST)

List of Categories


If you ever need to see what categories already exist, just select Special pages from the toolbox on the left and then click on Categories. That will list all categories on TA. If there are any links in red, you know what that means. It's a great way to see what you called something if you forget.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 17:45, 8 January 2007 (CST)

Categorization Team


Take a look at Categorization Team and let me know what you think. Better yet, feel free to add or change whatever you think needs to be. This is the page that we can send people to if they want to help with adding categories. The simpler we make this, and the better sounding we can make this the more likely we'll get people to help out.



Deleting Discussions

Hi Deb:

Thank you so much for asking me to remove the page. Since you know all about categories, I thought I'd fill you in on another secret.

Edit a discussion. See the line on the very top with ForumThreadHeading? Well, that's a template. Templates can be added to a page just by using the two squigglies {{ something }} around the name of a template page. We use templates for the discussion headings as well as for each entry (original or reply) in the discussion.

While editing the discussion, you'll see a list of all templates used on that page just below the edit box. Click on Template:ForumThreadHeading and you can see what that template is made of. Click on edit and you can see what's in it.

As you can see on Template:ForumThreadHeading, it contains the breadcrumb list with links to get back to previous pages in the hierarchy and it also contains a category link! This is how we get all tax questions into the Tax Questions category, which makes them show up on the Tax Questions forum listing.

Why did I tell you all of this? Well, if you delete the top line in a discussion, that removes the template, which will remove the category, which will remove it from the forum listing. A quick way to get a topic out of the forum. It's probably a good idea to let me know so I can delete the page too, but it's probably better than a topic staying on the list with a note for me to delete it.  :-) (not that I mind that you did this!)

Hope this wasn't too confusing. I thought you might like to know a little bit more as this related to all fo the category work you've been doing.

P.S. We used to have the category for Tax Questions added on each page rather than via the template, so on some old discussions you'll see it there.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 12:54, 10 January 2007 (CST)

What you did

Deb - perfect! This is exactly what we've been hoping would happen... community members stepping up to help to monitor and manage TaxAlmanac. We need more people like you!

Your Schedule

I understand completely! That's why we need to get other people to learn how to do this - so everyone can pitch in a little, and everyone benefits! Good news on that front - JR1 has just added his first category, Dennis has offered to work on one, and Will has offered to start importing Revenue Rulings as part of the Content Team! Wow!

If you could write a note on the Award to you discussion encouraging people to join in - that it's easy, etc., that'd probably do more good than the message I left there.

Thanks again for all of your hard work!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 13:38, 10 January 2007 (CST)

Another sneaky trick


If you want to type out what someone should add to a page to include it in a category, but don't want it to be interpreted as you actually adding that category to that page, you need to tell the system "Hey! Ignore this part!" To do this, tell it NOWIKI! (Don't interpret the following as a wiki command... like this:


Ignore if you want - just an FYI since you seem to have picked everything else up so quickly...

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 17:21, 10 January 2007 (CST)

Discussion Deleting last night

Hi Deb:

Yeah, I see what happened last night. If, when adding a new discussion, a user hits enter from the title box expecting the cursor to go to the box where you type a question, it actually gets saved. This happens from time to time, and the users typically just start typing their question as a reply, which is fine. If you see such "empty" discussions, just be sure to leave them for a bit in case the person is still working on them.

Thanks again for all of your help!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 09:10, 11 January 2007 (CST)

Categories vs. Articles

Hi Deb:

I know you've stated that you have no interest in writing articles, but I'm thinking that perhaps we're not talking about the same thing. Remember the summary you entered on Category:LLC? That's basically an article... just basic information about a common subject.

Now take a look at Limited Liability Company. Basically the same information, right? That's a duplication of effort, and now we have two areas to keep up-to-date. If users find one of them, they may miss out on information contained on the other.

Also, the categories are not included in basic searches, so the information on your category page would not be found in a search (unless the user used advanced search).

So how can we provide basic topic information on the category pages without duplicating effort, and so searches will find it? I'm going to do a little work on these two pages in the next few minutes. Take a look in a bit and let me know what you think.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 10:22, 11 January 2007 (CST)


I had some issues with the LLC work I said I would be doing. I forgot that the current version of MediaWiki that TA is running does not support the <noinclude></noinclude> functionality. This would have allowed me to just include the entire LLC article on the category page, but then specify on the LLC page what to include, and what to leave off. We're scheduled for an upgrade, so when that happens this will allow us to do more in this area.

I want to make sure that you know that I am fully aware of your time constraints! I never want you to think that I don't. I tell you the things I tell you because I think you're interested, and that you might have fun with it in your spare time. Never do I want you to feel pressured to do more than you can or have time for.

Wow - I wasn't aware of that background on the other websites. I'm glad you're here on TaxAlmanac now though!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 11:19, 11 January 2007 (CST)



When you delete the line in the messages, the message itself will still exist, but it should no longer be displayed ont he listing of messages. You might need to refresh to see that it's gone.

I am working to find who I can report those EF/birthdate issues to.


Deleting spam

Aha! Do you look at the 'All Messages' forum instead of the Tax Questions forum? I forgot that deleting the top line would fail to remove it from that view. Hmmm... To delete it from there as well you could always "move" it and remove the "Discussion:" part of the name.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 16:53, 11 January 2007 (CST)


Wow Deb - interesting history with regard to the BBS! I started with BBSs and Compuserve back in 1986, first got on this new thing called the "internet" in 1993 and had my first server online in 1995. I currently have about 4 servers online myself with various websites. As an example, take a look at which is a family history website which I co-host. It's currently running from one of my servers here. It's also a wiki and so I work on two wikis - which most people don't know. My user page there is at




I believe I have a contact for ProSeries issues now (my background is on the Lacerte side, so I don't have as many contacts for PS). Could you add links on my talk page for the issues that you'd like me to send? I think there was one about birthdayes, one about PIN numbers, and I think one more.



Tsk tsk tsk

I knew you couldn't...hehehe. Just another time when we can laugh together :) know who

"you might want to read the entire pub." hehehe. Hey Almanacers, Ain't it nice to be able to start a tax business and have all your questions answered, AND FOR FREE! Seems like everyone wants to get into the act. david

The professor

I see you are at it again. hehehe


First your great efforts... Now Larry is asking to add categories... Solomon is cutting and pasting in Revenue Rulings, and a new person pasted in two IRS Notices today! This is starting to happen!!  :-)

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 15:51, 15 January 2007 (CST)


Michigan? Where the heck in Michigan? (Ahem. Ex-Domer here, so hoping you're not in the Detroit area!)

It's easy except that I haven't figured how to easily match existing categories, and end up with stuff in red. Sometimes, I want that to be a new category, like Restaurants or Realtors...but don't know how to add to the Categories yet. I bet I just edit the Categories screen, right? Jeff JR1


My wife and I just spent our anniversary, no numbers given! in Gun Lake, which is in betwixt Saugatuck, Kazoo, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. 1/2 from ea one, and nothing there, at least in the off season. I like Kazoo quite a bit...and the weather and politics there would be much nicer than the other side of the lake that I'm on...

Category Team

Would it make sense for me to make a discussion area for the teams? I wanted to jump in on the conversation that you and JR1 are having, but I can't message both of you at the same time...

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 10:49, 16 January 2007 (CST)

It's ready!

Take a look at Discussion Forum Index under the Communities & Teams section.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 11:02, 16 January 2007 (CST)

New Category

I added a new category - check your user page.  :-)

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 11:31, 17 January 2007 (CST)

New Article


Someone posted a very nice article this morning! I'd like to get it linked in and categorized so more people can see it, and so the author will consider doing this with more articles. Could you add categories to Home Office Expenses of a One-Man Corporation?


-Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 09:09, 18 January 2007 (CST)

What Links Here


Did you know that on any page you can click "What links here" in the toolbox to see all other pages which have a link to the current page? This should be useful to you in your categorization. For example, I just added a link in a discussion to Publication 1542. Clicking to see what links there showed another discussion. This other discussion then, is likely related in topic to the one I was on.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 12:17, 18 January 2007 (CST)

Deleting Messages


Discussions show in the forums because they're int he "Discussion Namespace". That just means that they start with "Discussion:". They are filtered based on if they have Category:Tax Questions, Category:Accounting Questions, etc. To remove them from those forums, or to move them from one forum to another, you'd just change the category (on the top line). To remove them from the All Discussions listing, changing or removing the categories won't work. There is a workaround though - just move them out of the "Discussion:" namespace. If you move the page and remove the "Discussion:" prefix... they won't show.

In order for me to keep track of pages which should be removed, could you add a "Category:Delete" to them? That way I can find them and preiodically remove them.


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 15:33, 19 January 2007 (CST)

Topical Index


I took the list of all the categories we have so far and started the following Topical Index. Feel free to edit / rearrange if you want. I'll work on it a bit more too.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 16:27, 20 January 2007 (CST)

Topical Index, part II

I am done for now - go for it!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 16:36, 20 January 2007 (CST)




Looks like we were both working on that page - take a look now!  :-)

I need to rename the MSSP pages and then remove the lines at the top, creating one master list, then I can start adding in the missing Quick Link Pages.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 18:02, 21 January 2007 (CST)

Go Rest

You're right - you'll be busy all tax season, so go rest!  :-)

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 18:12, 21 January 2007 (CST)


Thanks! Keep in mind that I have no tax training at all... I am learning all of this as I go along! I know more about Rev. Ruls., Rev. Procs., IRBs, MSSPs, etc. than I ever thought I would. I have no idea how to apply them, but I am learning about how they are released, where to find them, etc. It took me a bit to figure out that ATGs are the product of the MSSPs, so I renamed the pages and combined them into one page. At first I thought they were different things. If you see me doing something dumb like that, just let me know!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 18:55, 21 January 2007 (CST)

MSSP Overviews

FYI - Be careful you don't pull the MSSP ATG overview information from the unclefed website - it's copyrighted...


Hi Deb:

I think if you're taking it from the actual MSSP documents we're fine. If you're taking it from the unclefed index page, that wouldn't be appropriate. I think from what you've said that we're fine.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 21:02, 21 January 2007 (CST)


Good morning! Did you get to finish that movie yet?

I made some formatting changes to the Topical Index... it was a bit long in the format I initially created... I hope this one is easier to use.


Blank Line Formatting

Hi Deb... I think I've figured out why a blank line between paragraphs will sometimes be displayed as you intend, and sometimes it will merge the paragraphs together. If you have only two paragraphs, the system will join them together, apparently assuming that the single blank line was a mistake. If you have three or more paragraphs, it see that you really do intend to split them, so it leaves them split. To me this still seems like a bug, but it's nice to finally know why it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

Until this is fixed, you can separate paragraphs by a blank line as long as you do it more than once, otherwise, add another blank line to tell it you're the boss.  ;-)

Also, it appears that this only happens to text which is sent into a template (like we're using in the forums). It works properly when editing a standard article.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 12:27, 23 January 2007 (CST)

Wonder Boy

check my answer to the tax wonder boy's question on revising a W-2

Lily From Chile

"I want so bad to post "Welcome back", but I won't." You are baddddd. Don't do it unless you want to start it up again. But this time we will argue over whether it is a credit, a deduction or a tax payment, or maybe passive income or a Section 1244 loss. It must be something but I don't see it on my software. In ten years those guys will take over and be our tax preparers. ~~d~~


I apologize for misunderstanding your problem within Proseries regarding the status of a return ready for efiling. In the future I will be more careful before jumping in with an answer. BTW, I'm posting this directly to you so as not to continue that thread and bother others.AHH 13:50, 28 January 2007 (CST)

Needs Help

Here I was thinking of referring him to way at least all the questions would come to us Almanacers. I almost feel like filling one of his information sheets in and sending it to him to see what happens....did that when I worked at the tax lawyers....prepared a return for Morris Dekat, who lived on Felinia Drive in Litterville FL and has a schedule C as a media personality. I thought the processors [manual returns then] would laugh....instead they copied and collated it, billed him and sent it out. I never heard anything until it came back in the mail, when the office manager asked if I had a bad address. "Read the guy's name slowly, syllable by syllable with a long E in the last name."

Did my movie marathon last night with Singing in the Rain and then The Gay Divorcee, my favorite Fred and Ginger. During real busy season I am too wired to fall asleep so I have dozing off favorites that I love and know so well: All About Eve and Letter to Three Wives, with all the talking, and Bette Davis: The Letter, Now Voyager, and the one with her, Claude Rains and Paul Henreid as the cellist.....but my best at sending me off is The Ghost & Mrs Muir....the music and Gene Tierney's creamy voice. I rarely make it to see George Sanders appear then wake later with a blue screen [that is VHS, not DVD].

Death&Taxes 18:22, 28 January 2007 (CST)

B Davis

The film I could not think of is Deception, with BD for once having a strong male oppose her rather than the Paul Henreid's, George Brents and her husband who usually populate her films....even Henry Fonda in Jezebel is too young and weak....but Claude Rains is just great, more of a bitch than she can be. The Letter is an excellent melodrama and I think her best role, but James Stephenson steals the film with his portrayal of a lawyer caught in the middle....will remind you of what happens when clients are not on the up and up while her film husband, Herbert Marshall, is no slouch either. Deception, but, is very ripe, very overacted with hams everywhere but so delicious. These aren't necessarily my favorite films, like Double Indemnity (Body Heat is almost as good telling the same story), Maltese Falcon or Sunset Boulevard (first film I ever saw and remembered) but I do not need something that will keep me totally interested when sleep is needed. Red River is another relaxer.

I am 60 miles from Atlantic City and I go to seminars there, but the noise level in casinos drives me out. We played SuperBingo ($1200 pots) at Foxwoods last year just before season and that was about my level of gambling. Over a thousand people playing bingo...incredible.

Death&Taxes 09:03, 29 January 2007 (CST)

Useful link or spam


What is your opinion on this page that someone added: On-Line Per Diem Calculator?

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 09:24, 29 January 2007 (CST)


Thanks Deb - I've deleted that page.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 09:57, 29 January 2007 (CST)

Spam deleted

Thanks Deb!!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 08:17, 30 January 2007 (CST)

Cleaning Lady

Should I send the cleaning lady to She'll get the earned income credit after they are done.

Doing your own S

I really wanted to suggest she mail it to WonderBoy and let him tell us how unfair it is while he asked us how to do an 1120S. Read my next to last discussion on Tax Cheats, the one that had finally stopped the nonsense. Death&Taxes 19:03, 31 January 2007 (CST)


Hi Deb! Hope tax season is going well for you. I saw your post regarding searching for dog breeding. I wanted to make sure you knew something about the searches. If you type in dog breeding, it will return all documents which have the words dog and/or breeding, so you could get a lot of articles on horse breeding, for example. To better filter your results, search for "dog breeding" (with the quotes) and that will activate a phrase search and only return pages where those words appear together.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me

HI Deback

I've read your postings and found them quite helpful, so thanks for taking the time to do so. I am just starting my tax practice from my home office in MN, and am focusing on personal returns only, at reasonable prices. Based on your postings, seems you do the same.

So while you've been at it for a long time, can you recall how you started building your client base and what worked particulairly well?

I just turned 50, my daughter (only child) is getting married this spring, and I'm semi-retired, operating an online gift business most of the rest of the year. But have always enjoyed taxes and decided to start charging for the good.


Beth Engel


Hi Deb!

I hope you're hanging in there this tax season!

I saw an edit you made where you removed a user's post. See the edit at

What was the intent here? Was that added anywhere else?


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 10:03, 10 February 2007 (CST)


Hi Deb!

I was going to add your new Category of Medical Expenses to the Topical Index when I noticed we have a Medical category already. Should those be combined?


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 10:32, 10 February 2007 (CST)

Posted Twice

Ahhh - ok, that makes sense. I should have known you were doing the right thing.  :-) Knowing that I am doing my big brother thing, feel free to add a comment when that stuff comes up so I'll understand and not bother you.

Happy Saturday!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 10:41, 10 February 2007 (CST)

Medical Category Fix

Ah, ok... Well, remember the reason why we can't categorize all of the old discussions and how I want something in place that will allow us to do that? I am crossing my fingers, but it may be coming soon! If so, we'll be able to do a whole lot. Keep in mind that I have the ability to run a robot here. I could, for example, ask it to go add categories to all discussions that contain a set of keywords. We could really make some quick improvements in this way!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 10:47, 10 February 2007 (CST)


I understand 100%!!! Never let anything I suggest or say imply that I am expecting more than you can give. Your business obviously comes first!!! I worked very long hours for 10+ years writing the Lacerte tax program, and we had to wait until the forms were released and then quickly get them integrated into the program and release it as quickly as possible. Several months of very intense and long hours, but our season started around Thanksgiving and lasted until the end of January, where yours comes later. I know all about how things get set aside during the busy season!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 10:51, 10 February 2007 (CST)


Don't you ever sleep? It's 1.40a here on the east coast. I just popped back to see if anyone replied to my question. How to you manage 700+ returns and still stay up so late?

What's sleep?

I'm also pulling a late nighter. Tax prep has been an excellent side business for almost 15 years. I work full time as a draftman so I don't get here until after work. I usually plug away until 12-1am during the week and burn the midnight oil on the weekends. I've got it down to a science. About 60% of my clients drop-off or mail so I conduct the interview over the phone during the week. I take appointments only one night a week and all weekends. It's worked well for me. My goal is to become a year rounder work here full time. I really enjoy understanding the ins and outs of tax prep.

I'm finally taking the EA exam this fall. That'll give me the summer and fall to study and realize the mountians of knowledge that I do not know. It's humbling. I've learned that I have to learn. :)

Chair Rental

I think Schedule C won the vote pretty decisively.

Hmmm, maybe I need a barber for a client; he or she can cut my hair while I do their taxes though if the refund isn't big enough, there goes my left ear.

Log Out Issue - Still a problem?

A while back, you indicated that you were affected by the "log out" issue - where TaxAlmanac would "forget" you and you had to log in again, fairly frequently. We think we found the solution, and I wanted to find out if this has been solved for you or if it is still an issue. I know you're busy with tax season, but if you could leave me a quick message, I'd appreciate it.

Thank you!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 14:25, 17 February 2007 (CST)


Glad you found the HP on Ebay. I am always leery of making recommendations because we all work differently. I value small track and simplicity. This printer has no controls on it; everything is on the hard drive. I prize the quiet of this printer, and love the quiet of the new copier we leased in July. The old copies, a Toshiba 2050 or 2060, could drive me up a wall if I was talking on the phone. I'd leave the room just to hear.

When we make copies on the copier for the client, Pam duplexes them [my printer doesn't do that] as it saves postage and paper while the copier does the work of doing the duplexing without her help. She wants to do it for my copy for my files but I object since I hate turning them upside down.

I do not use Proseries letters but letters from Word program, and used to bill through a MS Works ancient database. This year we went to Simply Accounting by Sage, only using it for receivables. All these are printed on the computer at the other end of the house. Unlike most of us, I bill for everything and rarely collect when I do the work.

We make client labels at the beginning of tax season and IRS labels for mailings of checks, or forms, from Tax Tools, where we have added other State and Local label formats. Last year we finally went to using folders.

Good luck with the new printer.

Death&Taxes 09:16, 18 February 2007 (CST)

Discussion of Last Night

Done - thank you!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 12:12, 18 February 2007 (CST)

Gay clients

Deb, I'm sorry if what I said was offensive to you, never meant that. It's funny, we're all together on here so much that we think we know each other really well, and we don't really know each other at all. I was not and am not on an anti-gay diatribe by any means. I really hope it didn't sound that way. I have a financial planner who is also a client, my go-to guy, who flat refused to work with one of my couples years ago...and that certainly strained our relationship. Even now, since I still remember it.

Printer, Huh?

Good luck!!! Now you will do 900 returns.

Funny but my sister, who lives in Lafayette IN, is practically deaf, and is using an ancient Micron laptop I bought in 1998 on which she upgraded to Win 98, also received her new 'used' computer today from a friend. A Windows 2000 machine that might even have USB ports! She is excited too. Amazing that old laptop still runs. I had a 2002 Micron ready to give her if she made it east this year.

Death&Taxes 16:52, 23 February 2007 (CST)

Never would have thought of that

I would have assumed something was not communicating between printer and computer, like in my City of Philadelphia software, and probably bought a new better USB cable....shows what I know! That is great, really great.

Thanks a lot DEBACK. That's what I thought but not sure and it makes a big difference.

Suggestion for addition to Code of Conduct

Hi Deb,

Thanks for the correction on the link.

I'm confused though. I used the internal link button and thought that would link to the thread I was referring to.

I couldn't find anything that says I had to put the word "discussion" before it.

Also, does "discussion" have to be capitalized? Does it go inside the double brackets?

Thanks for your help.

Rudy, Ex-IRS

Stealth Edits

Hi Deb:

I hope your tax season is going well and that you're not too tooo busy!

We're currently working on the enhancement to allow users to make edits to discussions (such as adding categories) without affecting the display order on the forum listing. Basically, if a discussion is replied to via the standard forum interface (the reply box), the date will change and it'll bump to the top of the list. If someone edits the page directly via the edit tab at the top, this will not affect the order. My question for you is if you see a problem with this. Are there ever times when you'd want a discussion to sort to the top when edited in this manner?


- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 21:07, 6 March 2007 (CST)


I just got your message regarding XLT. I can access it just fine. Are you still having issues viewing it?

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 21:30, 6 March 2007 (CST)

just a reminder

Discussion: 1099-Misc and form 4137 I was thinking of changing my screen name to this.

Death&Taxes 07:57, 7 March 2007 (CST)

Got a quick question Ms Deb

I majored in accounting 35 years ago so we have something in common. Stuck on an issue for 2006 re: wife & I married April 2006. In 2005 I filed her return as HofH & she qualified for EIC for her one 13 year old son. Even though she is a teacher, I am certain her Adjust Income will be fairly low & was thinking of filing her as HOH & EIC also. But we are married!! Therefore, I didn't think we could file her in that category. I would file Married/seperate returns. Because of substantial mortgage interest & prop. taxes, my income is very low & cannot benefit from further exemptions. Any thoughts from the cold part of the country. Thanks. Randy in sunny Sarasota, FL.

Deferred comp on MI return

HI Deb,

I am a CPA in Ferndale, MI. I just saw your comment about deferred comp being taxable on the MI return. Can you tell me where that is written. Have I also been missing the boat for 20 years or did I misunderstand your comment? I prepare a Toldeo return and you do, in fact, add back all deferred comp amounts, such as, 401(k) deductions, etc.

Thank you.

Thank you Deb

Hi Deb,

I misunderstood your original comment. I did think you meant you were taxing the contributions. As I said earlier, in Toledo, you do tax the contributions. It's getting late and I am starting to second guess myself on stuff. I did read the instructions for this issue. I don't think that I have ever seen a plan that didn't have a retirement age or a requirement for years of service so the only distributions that I don't adjust for are the early withdrawls. You're right though, Michigan isn't the easiest return to prepare.

Have a good weekend.

RLS 16:25, 31 March 2007 (CST)

Stealth Edits #2


It took us longer than I expected, but we finally launched the changes today which allow us to categorize discussions without affecting the sort order. I know this is NOT the time for you to be doing this, as you're obviously very busy doing your job. However, I did want you to know that this is ready now. I even tried it out - see Category:Alimony for all of the discussions that I categorized there today.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 18:04, 3 April 2007 (CDT)

New Pic

I like your new pic, Deb!

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 09:21, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

Tax Season


When I first started with Lacerte some 18 years ago, I soon learned what a tax season was all about. We had to wait till the IRS & state agencies released their final forms & instructions before we could start, which typically happened right after Thanksgiving and we stayed busy through January with all of the updates. A 100 hour work-week was not unusual. I've even slept on the office floor before because I was too tired to drive home. I guess what I'm saying is that I know what tax season is like, and I've been told that it's made me pretty grumpy at times. I knew when I got your message that you were in tax season and probably tired of it all and just ready for it to be over. The last thing that you wanted to think about was spending time on tax-related stuff here on TaxAlmanac. After the season winds down, I would love to see the community stay active here and make it even better for next year. If you feel like participating, great! If not, I certainly understand that too. Hang in there - we're on the home stretch of the busiest part of the season. I greatly appreciate all that you do here!


Partial rollover of IRA

Thank you. I found it, and it works!!!. You rascal you, you knew where it was all the time.

Breeding Expenses

Hi Deb,

I posted a question under the topic of Breeding Expenses earlier tonight but have received no response. This is why I am contacting you directly. With the deadline looming, I need to resolve this issue.

You had provided input on previous thread regarding breeding so I hope you can help me. When a breeder purchases a new dog with the intent the breed but the dog is not ready to breed, it is my understanding that the dog would not be placed in service until ready to breed. However, how do you treat expenses for the dog up to the point it is placed in service? If the dog is not yet placed n service, is it really a business asset? If not, then the expenses such as food and vet bills would not be deductible?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


Back taxes

I saw your answer regarding the 40 year old man who had never filed taxes.

I'm hoping you can answer a question for me. I am 33 years old and have never filed income tax returns (I won't bore you with my reasons here), and I do not have any of my tax documents in my possession anymore. I have contacted my employers to get any records they may have, but those will only go back a few years.

I'm pretty sure I owe money to the IRS, and I really want to get this straightened out so I can move on with my life. Should I call the IRS for a transcript of my W-2s and 1099s or should I have a tax adviser do that? I am trying to do what I can first before going to see someone. I know I will need a tax advisers help, but I'd like to have my tax documentation beforehand, if possible. I am just hoping that my contacting the IRS to obtain that info doesn't put up a red flag and have them knocking on my door before I am able to knock on theirs, if you know what I mean.

If I contact the IRS on my own to get my tax documents, can I use Form 4506-T to request that information, or is that only for people who have actually filed tax returns?

I sincerely appreciate any answers you are willing to give.



 Wanted to know how you and Misty made out yesterday at the vet's....hope you got good news. 
 DJ  DJ 09:52, 20 April 2007 (CDT)


Deb, I really don't know how to send messages....what should I have on my page? I've seen where some people write the line..."If you want to leave a message....." but what/how?? I did receive your reply back, so whatever YOU did....worked! Keno? Hope you won!!

 I know how expensive vet bills can friend's border collie just tore a ligament in her rear leg, chasing a squirrel, had far it's been over $1,000....but she's only 6 years old, too.  I know Gretchen's legs are bad, too.  It's a heartbreak .. 

With Misty, I REALLY hope it's something that can be fixed!!

Right now I'm looking into classes that I can take this summer RE:Taxes....while being on this site I see that there is SO SO SO much I don't know. I've only had to work with the SIMPLE 1040's and some Sch-C/E....I only have ONE trust that I do. I looked into the class that Kevin is doing in Philly the end of June....But I am NOT good traveling alone or for that matter with someone....I GET LOST ... EXAMPLE: Coming home from the shore WITH my mom and the kids.....I ended up in Pennsylvania! No sense of direction AT ALL....anyway, there's a class in Iselin, NJ only 15 minutes from here...not the same as Kevin's, but it's a start. I know you're able to READ and learn from that, but I have a hard time 'by myself'....WHAT A PITY CASE I AM!!! If you have any advice, I would love to hear it!!!

I September, I'm going BACK to the community college here and I'm going to TRY and finish my degree....

DJ DJ 10:56, 20 April 2007 (CDT)


Deb, OH MY!! Diabetes??? It's something how our 'animals' get 'human' diseases!! I hope the shots will help and you won't have any choice to make!! THAT is SO hard!! Are you OK with giving the shots?? Years ago we had a poodle who had epilepsy! Poor thing...

I've missed this site for the past few days.....I've been trying to catch up with all that went undone since January! If those damn Merry Maids weren't so blatant with their bright yellow vans, I might consider having them in....but I'd probably have a $1000 bill!!

Hope all goes well!!!


Missing Forms

Deb, I called ProSeries to request some state forms that they don't support. In looking at the downloads, I noticed they don't support many MI forms. Do you use a different version that does support them, or do you use something else? It's getting really frustrating to fill out a Federal form, and then not have the data transfer to the state bc the state form isn't supported. Thanks! Joyce Wwtaxes 18:33, 2 May 2007 (CDT)wwtaxes

Deb Thanks for the reply. Are you saying that you use ProSeries for the Federal forms and different Software for the MI forms? I don't do any MI returns, but I am very frustrated that ProSeries doesn't have a corresponding 1065 for ND and a corresponding 1041 for MN. When I called them, I happened to notice on the update list that they don't have any MI forms except that corresponding to the 1040. So I got to wondering what MI users were doing instead. I'm also wondering if we are using a different version of ProSeries. Does it say ProSeries Pro in your title bar? I thought we had ProSeries Pro with the 1040 Complete option and the PPR for business returns, but now I'm wondering what we really have, bc my title bar only says ProSeries, but there is the "Pro" logo in front of it.

Thanks again, Wwtaxes 15:23, 4 May 2007 (CDT)Joyce

That pretty much explains it. It sounds like MI has some special reqs for business returns. It sounds like there's nothing I can do about the ones that I need, except hope that ProSeries decides to add them in the future. In the meantime, this bites. Thanks, Joyce Wwtaxes 15:42, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

Still out there?

Hi Deb, just realized we haven't seen you for ok? Jeff JR1

hi there. well ive got questions if you dont mind to answer.

i have a child that is 2 years and another one that is less than a year. the one that is 2 years had her fathers name on the certificate. he wants to claim her and i do too. i heard that if both parents claim a child that you have to go into court to sort it out. then again, i'm not sure if we are allowed to claim her both. we are not married and both put single. as for my other child that is less than a year, his fathers name is not on the birth certificate and i will be the only one claiming him. i'm at the age of 18 and i live with my parents but they are not claiming me. do you know how much money i will be getting back from filing my papers?

thanks. Samantha.

I built a Barn for my wife's horse boarding business. It is used 100% for her business, but only went into service last year - several years after I started construction (yes, a long build process). I want to depreciate the building...but what are my options?

It's so nice to see you're still here!

I was wondering what you were up to! Natalie 18:01, 20 September 2008 (CDT)Natalie



I would absolutely take you up on your offer.

My E mail is Matt at MGJCPA dot com I can send you the basics, a PDF etc...

the entire federal and many states are done, I am simply troubled by the gross receipts tax.

2.5 mil in Mich sales at .008 is 19K. Sounds wrong to me.


Deback: the 1099 Q expert!

Deb, Thanks for your help on a recent post. I've read it, as well as some of the other linked discussions on this topic. Still have one detail question that I hope you'll take a second to answer. 1099-Q to daughter from 529 plan shows 3400 distribution. 1098-T from the college to dad shows 0 in box 1 (payments received for qualified tuition) but 7930 in box 2 (amounts billed for qualified tuition).

My question is: Would you go ahead and use the amount in box 2 when calculating qualified tuition and expenses on the 1099-Q worksheet? Or is it important to get some other documentation/assurance from the taxpayer that the money from the 529 plan actually made it to the college treasurer's office?

thanks much! Anchorman 08:29, 25 March 2009 (CDT)


Deb, OH!! I am so glad to see you here!! I asked D&T last year where you had gone, and neither he no anyone else had the answer! I've had rather a 'rough' season this year, so I haven't been on here much myself! I hope all is well!!! Glad to see you back!

DJ DJ 07:42, 26 March 2009 (CDT)



Self Employed Med Ins


I've done some background reading, and although medical insurance premiums from the CSA1099 are deductible as a medical expense, would they qualify as self employed insurance payments?

I thought this issue was covered once before but couldn't find it.

- Rick Rgtaxservice 19:52, 30 March 2009 (CDT)rgtaxservice

Just in case

I posted this to you but thought you might be too busy to get back to the post so here it is:

I don't sign the return copies. I mail the copies to them with my bill and instructions to sign and return the 8879 with payment for my fee. Once I get these I file the returns. I rarely get an NSF check returned and have not been stiffed by a client. If a client doesn't like the results on the refund/pay line and refuses to pay I send them a letter saying that if payment for my work is not received within 15 days of the letter "they leave me no choice but to start a civil action against them." This brings the money in. And those that want their docs back so they can go elsewhere are advised that they owe me for the time spent on their return. I have been very successful using these policies. I suggest the "civil action" letter if she doesn't pay you. She is small potatoes for the IRS but the satisfaction is all yours. taxea



I hope you are doing well. I saw your post where you said you did 490 returns already. That is amazing! Is it just you doing them? If it is only you, what is your system.

As I have tried to grow, my system is not working so well. I have only done a 50 returns. I wanted to do 200 returns. I might make it to 150 returns by the end of tax season but I have helpers.

Please also tell me how many returns you do a day. Are they coming in by meail or do they come by.

I am glad you said that you are somewhat rested on April 16th.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Subjective analysis

You asked Lizzit to explain what she meant by "taking that position" - I hope she'll be back to respond, but given the time difference (and you seem to be in a hurry), I may be able to interpret.

First she confirmed that the 365-day period that contains his 330 days of presence can float, e.g., doesn't need to be a calendar year, and that you do need to wait to file until it's achieved. Then she went on to present a twist. Say the client is in the foreign country from (for simplicity I'm going to use a calendar period here, so I don't have to count days, but it applies whenever) 1/1/10 to 11/30/10, or 334 days straight through, no returns to the US. You have a choice - is the 365-day period [that contains the 330 days outside the US] 1/1/10 to 12/31/10, or is it 12/1/09 to 11/30/10. Doing the latter gets the return filed one month earlier, but some people don't think to do it, because the guy didn't actually leave the US until 1/1/10 (but that doesn't matter, it's the >330 days outside the US that matter). I think that the "twist" is the "position" she was talking about at the end - starting the 365 day period in advance of the actual period outside of the US. (This doesn't always apply, by the way - most people don't actually stay away 330 days straight with no breaks back.)

Hope that helps.

Trillium 17:41, 28 February 2011 (UTC) - edited to add a conclusion at the end and change my example period from 2011 to 2010, Trillium 17:46, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

You're welcome

Even if it didn't make much sense! (Maybe it helped you look at it differently enough that it made Lizzit's earlier remarks more clear.) And I've edited the note above just a bit, since others may now be clicking to see what I said! Trillium

Glad your back!

Excuse my grammar, that should be "glad you're back".

Deb I'm glad you're back and I will try to find that information you suggested about Victoria. I will keep an open mind. I'm always interested in learning new things and I hope you continue to come around and talk to us! (Don't pay any attention to my silliness.) CrowJD 00:22, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Other than Crow's curious rants

was there a reason you didn't want your posts in that discussion? I thought they added something helpful. Kevinh5

I have enjoyed the juicing

and feel it will help me to get healthier. Thanks for the suggestion!


food thread

Deback, I'm not sure what resistance you are talking about, but I hope I did not offend you with anything in that thread. If I did, I do apologize.

PirateCPA 18:57, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Holy wowsa honey

Man, those guys over there are simply jacka$$es huh?

You shouldn't apologize for your post, you said nothing wrong. I think I'll have some fun over there. I don't like those guys. Every post is simply a reason to be rude.

Fsteincpa 19:17, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Fees ?

Hi Deback,

How much would you charge a client with 1.2 M income and 35 1099-misc and 2 partnerships but no activities ?

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