Discussion:Important Service Announcement??

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
Line 645: Line 645:
{{ForumReplyPost|UserID=CathysTaxes|Date=21 April 2014|Text=The volume of spam on this site is downright sickening.  Some searches I did revealed a tremendous amount.  My sympathies to the moderators who tried to best to get rid of it.}}
{{ForumReplyPost|UserID=CathysTaxes|Date=21 April 2014|Text=The volume of spam on this site is downright sickening.  Some searches I did revealed a tremendous amount.  My sympathies to the moderators who tried to best to get rid of it.}}
 +
 +
{{ForumReplyPost|UserID=Kevinh5|Date=21 April 2014|Text=We had to give up about a year ago because we felt we cared more than Intuit did about the fate of this board, and we were using 3 hours a day each fighting off spam.  For free.}}

Revision as of 15:52, 21 April 2014

Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Important Service Announcement??

Contents

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
OMG - I saw the red shaded box at the site just now:


Important Service Announcement

The TaxAlmanac.org website will be going offline permanently on 6/1/14. The groups responsible for maintaining the content on this website are no longer able to provide the required maintenance and updates necessary to maintain the website’s on-going integrity.


I'm hoping this is a late April Fools joke...but if this is really going to happen, we are going to lose a great community here! Let me say right now I'd be willing to gen up a new forum if it would help keep the gang together. I lease a fairly high powered server today in a website hosting datacenter in Dallas, and can scale it as needed.


Let me know what your thoughts are.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
Yikes! Didn't someone anticipate this and informally organize to get ready for it? Facebook comes to mind.

Terry Oraha (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
I'll go to facebook. i just cant believe it.

Kathyt (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
Personally, I would be willing to pay a membership fee for this site if that would help keep it open, anyone else??? I started using this site many years ago, and I have learned so much, I have a small office, no one to really bounce ideas off of, I have grown to depend on this site for that. Facebook is not the same thing, I want to be able to search topics of discussion. I just cannot put into words how much this site has helped me grow my practice, helped my clients when I was unsure of something, wow, I don't want to loose this. Sometimes it takes more than just research to arrive an answer in the tax world, it takes talking it out with your peers; we all can't be experts in every area of tax law, and that's what makes this site so great. If we made this a paid membership site rather than a free site, would that help to keep it open? Anyone else interested??? What a day to post this, April 15th!!

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
I am on facebook forums and it's not the same.

I have actually created a Taxalmanac page on Facebook where we have some tax professionals gathered so we have a place to go to and meet and figure out what the next step is.

Chris, please find us there, or at least gather our emails and let's do something between now and then.

Plus, if they cannot maintain this, can they at least transfer it to us, or archive the pages for search capabilities.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 15, 2014
Wow. Huh. Dang. And....


So where do build the new community? How can all the threads be exported? The great news is that we'd no longer be chained to this stupid Wiki crap, which barely functions as a forum except for our willingness to make it so. Is there a geek among us who could set up a REAL forum, you know, one where the Search actually produced desired results?

But this is like nuking a village in the Crimea. *poof* (and then nothing.....) We've formed a formidable unit here and all of us, even Chris! have learned stuff. I can't imagine FB working terribly well for this.

We have six and a half weeks. The clock ticks. And of course, I'd pay money as most of us might, to make it happen. I've got a client or two who have set up forums...perhaps I should explore.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
I was just going to mention the FB page, but like Fred says, it's not the same. I also post to a group on Linked In, and, again, it's not the same. Maybe we've just all become friends over the years and we know and appreciate everyone's limitations, or maybe it's the yellow box where we can search, but this is kind of my come back to page. I would be willing to pay a membership fee to keep TA and barring that, I'm wondering if there is a way to take charge of the archived data. I can't tell you how many times this season Riley2's words were still helpful, or anyone else's for that matter. Who was it that tried to start a similar page on a website that looked kind of spacey just before TA came back online? Can he help? Or maybe ChrisV2's suggestion is viable. At least we have some time to figure this out. We should be greatful for that.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
Before we go off in different directions please let me have a shot at this. I know how to stand up a site and a forum pretty quickly and if Intuit would allow me to move the content from this site over to a new location I can easily lock it down for archive purposes, and we can have a new full-fledged forum with all the bells/whistles.


What is critical here is to maintain/archive the existing content. Does anyone know who at Intuit I can talk to, to make a proposal on a save? I really do not want to see this site disappear.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
Trillium and I had predicted this over a year ago. Not sure why everyone is surprised. Heck, even JR1 predicted The End of the Forums.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
I agree Chris, I imagine Kevin might talk to people as he is an admin. I just yelled at him on FB after he abused me and told him that he has web forum issues to deal with.

We must protect the Yellow Box at all costs.

In fact, the new site can be called YellowBox.com. lol

Chris, join the facebook group simply as a place for us to gather and assist you in this.

add an @aol.com to my screen name and you have my email sir.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
Chris, you should contact Tim Doyle at Intuit. He will know who is in charge there.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
Thanks Kevin...I left Tim a voicemail. Hopefully he calls me back or can put me in touch with the right person.


Fred I will check out the FB page - thanks.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
Kevin is an involuntary admin on that page too. lol.

I can try talking to Mindy at intuit as well. Maybe if she gives us TA I will renew my Proseries.

Lalva (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
Nooooooo!! We need to save the yellow box!

I learned a little while ago that Riley2 (or R2) wasn't with us anymore... and now this!

I am also willing to pay to get this site or a similar one alive (and to keep the archives for searching). I am sure that 90% or so of the pros using this site are solo practitioners and this is our way to interact with other knowledgeable professionals.

HELP!

Captcook (talk|edits) said:

15 April 2014
I worked on this a little at the end of the year. I consulted with a techie friend of mine and he found this option floating out there. My understanding of this platform is that it is open source and very flexible. The more traffic we drive on the site, the more control we get as members and the more options are available. A page needs to find activity before it moves out of "proposals" status.

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/60707/accounting

If there is more interest/questions, let me know and I'll see what I can do to get answers. If the notice above holds true, June 1st will be here before you know it.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Well if we can get the data off the forum, getting onto a non-Intuit hosted site would be great. I can't even access this forum anymore after 11 or 12 at night!

When CCH shut down the ATX forum, we started another and it's still going strong and has more features than this one does. This site is just archaic; but the data and users are priceless.

Makbo (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Deja vu all over again... last year, NAEA shut down (temporary read-only) its members-only webboard, and replaced it with a new system that is only a faint shadow of the former one (although Dave Fogel still particpates there), since many of the best contributors migrated elsewhere. Unfortunately, the old NAEA webboard also had years' worth of archived, valuable material, which NAEA is unconcerned about saving.

As the saying goes, "Avengers Assemble!" (from Wikipedia, for those young 'uns whose only knowledge comes from movies.. " although one theme remained consistent: the Avengers fight 'the foes no single superhero can withstand." The team, famous for its battle cry of "Avengers Assemble!", has featured humans, mutants, robots, aliens, supernatural beings, and even former villains.')

That sounds like TaxAlmanac, no?

This should be the new rallying cry: Preparers Propound!''

Coddington (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Looks like we can just fork the site if someone can write a script to copy all of the forum content. All we have to do is include attribution (see bolded section below).

FREE CONTENT LICENSE TERMS You License All Rights to Intuit: You irrevocably grant a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, unlimited, royalty-free, sublicenseable, transferable, assignable license, without a right to ever terminate such license, to Intuit Inc. to copy, modify, distribute, publish and otherwise use and commercialize Your edits and other contributions in any manner now known or in the future discovered. You are free to refrain from ever submitting any contributions. If You decide to submit contributions, You remain free to continue to use them otherwise as if You had never submitted them to the Site. However, You cannot terminate this license once You have submitted contributions to the Site. Intuit Licenses All Content on the Site to You: To the extent permitted by our licensors, we grant You a non-exclusive, worldwide, limited, royalty-free, non-sublicenseable, non-transferable license to all content published at the Site, which is subject to the following conditions and to your contractual agreement to refrain from using any content published at the Site beyond the scope of this license: You may access, literally copy, distribute, publish, and otherwise use unmodified information published on the Site subject to the condition that You conspicuously reproduce the following notice in all literal copies, and distributed and published versions, of the information: “This information originates from http://www.taxalmanac.org and is licensed subject to the terms posted at http://www.taxalmanac.org. Intuit Inc. is not responsible for this information.” You may edit modifiable information on the Site. You may modify information published on the Site, and distribute, publish, and otherwise use such modified information, subject to the condition that You conspicuously reproduce the following notice in all such modified information: “This information is based on information originating from http://www.taxalmanac.org and is licensed subject to the terms posted at http://www.taxalmanac.org. It has been modified. Intuit Inc. is not responsible for this information.”

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
All good things come to an end but this is really unfortunate news. The brain trust of this group that has come together and those that have passed on have left their mark as a resource (although not primary.......but damn good!) that is very valuable. I do hope Intuit does find it in there corporate heart (I know that is an oxymoron) to allow these posts to be captured and taken to a place where they can at least be assessed for its knowledge while it is still viable.

Hope you all had a successful tax season.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I'd pay a subscription.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I post on two forums that use this http://www.invisionpower.com/apps/board/. The price for a cloud version that will allow 100 users online is $70 per month. There is also a server version.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I'd really like to hear from Intuit before we think about scraping the site. The contents of this site are served from an SQL database backend. An HTTP based scrape would be very inefficient and probably miss a lot; the best bet would be to either use the wiki built-in backup/restore functionality or (even better) take a server backup of the entire site and then I can have it running on a new server within a few hours.


I use servers from softlayer.com; the best cloud service on the planet. I would gladly do this on my own nickel - no subscription needed; I just need someone on the sending side to work with me.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Chris, that's a generous offer! I believe it was Kevin who posted a link to a consumer tax site that had the posts from TA transferred, so obviously, Intuit has allowed access to the posts.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I think I found the other site, https://taxresearch.lcp.intuit.com/. Here is a post by Kevin: https://taxresearch.lcp.intuit.com/post/show_full/dcE7U8LKKr4kXvaaWP5K-7/capital-gain-on-distributions-in-excess-of-stock-basis-netted-out-by-increase-in-basis-for-the-gain

JAD (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Chris, there is no reason why it should be only your nickel. Many of us have already or previously stated that we would contribute nickels too. Thank you for suggesting a good, hopeful solution.

I posted a question on stack exchange the first time this site went down. It is extremely limited in the length of posts that it will accept. IMO, the limitation is fatal.

Taocpa (talk|edits) said:

2014-04-16
I have a server, I just need to get it running. If need be, we can use it. I just have to figure some things out.

I am more than willing to help transition us to something else.

Tom

Lrichards (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I would pay a subscription fee to belong to this group. Am I surprised? Of course not. Intuit is just another Corporate giant that takes care of itself, and this forum obviously does not benefit them or they would keep it.

Makbo (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
"Looks like we can just fork the site"

Seriously, do you think more than, say, 42% of users of this site know what you mean by "fork the site"?

Preparers, Propound!

Tenletters (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
What ever happened to "wayback machine" Wasn't that the name of an outfit that archived website content for later retrieval?

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Many of us are Intuit customers and are not too happy with getting socked again by them.

Taxaway (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I'm not surprised considering Intuit and given all the problems with ProSeries this year, many it seems by carelessness, disregard or worse (enough that after 13 years I have my summer project of evaluating other software programs.)

When it comes to a tax resource, I would pay an annual membership, as TaxAlmanac has proved as helpful if not more in locating answers with that nice yellow box, or just perusing the daily comments and questions.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
An HTTP based scrape would be very inefficient and probably miss a lot; the best bet would be to either use the wiki built-in backup/restore functionality or (even better) take a server backup of the entire site and then I can have it running on a new server within a few hours.

Impressive, Chris. I would be happy to pitch in financially for this. The question is whether or not Intuit will allow us to use and retain our own public content elsewhere. Is this a possibility? I would love to save this forum.

EZTAX (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Count me in. Let's make it work. Good night all. Hope you are now smiling as you head for home or sleep!

FLAcct (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I am also a sole practitioner who has found this forum to be an extremely valuable resource. Until I found this forum I thought the hardest part of my job was that I had no one I could ask a question when some unusual situation came up (and there have been plenty of those). I would definitely be willing to pay a membership to keep this forum going in some form or another.

Southparkcpa (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I would be willing to contribute money for a new site...

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
This site has a free-wheeling nature that can't be topped; it is not for the thin-skinned but there is so much to learn here.

With all that praise, its loss is relative and something will morph to take its place.

On February 12th, the day after my birthday, a local neurologist gave me a diagnosis of "Lou Gehrig's Disease" (ALS) and sent me to a specialist at Robert Wood Johnson. On the 28th of February, this man, Doctor Jerry Belsh, a doctor who has 34 years experience treating ALS, confirmed that diagnosis. Now I am with a wonderful team he has assembled at RWJ, and finding resources I never knew existed (e.g., turns out ALS patients have a large percentage of veterans, and there are benefits that can be had to help). So all is relative, but as Dr. Belsh says, my leg and arm weaknesses will not kill me......unless I fall under a subway.

JAD (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
D&T, thanks for letting us know. I am at a loss for words. I am sending you thoughts of peace and love.

Terry Oraha (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Wow, D&T thanks for your inspiration. The takeaway is we got 45 days together, lets enjoy, and keep D&T away from those rail car tracks.

Update from Tim Doyle (Intuit), via ChrisV2

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
D&T - sincere thoughts and prayers...thanks for letting us know about that.


I just spoke with Tim Doyle. He is working on some potential options, so at this point folks - please - the recommendation is to continue enjoying the site and let's not scatter just yet. As more information becomes available it will be shared here. Tim agrees wholeheartedly that the community and content is very important so he is pushing on this within Intuit. Anyone who works within a large corporation knows that decisions and plans take some time; Tim is working the process.


Stay tuned...

MWPXYZ (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
D&T - it is a blessing to get what seems to be a sure diagnosis. My clients have had or that have seem to have had ALS, have had their diagnosis change annually it seems. Hope you will be able to use your RV this summer!

EAinVA (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
As a SP, I would miss this site immensurably. Glad to toss in my nickle or dime to keep it

going.

D&T, you are in my prayers.

Mhewes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
The domain taxannals.com is available.

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Did Tim Doyle state whether or not we needed the title "TRUSTED USER" - for a tax pro to use a product/service meant

for tax professionals - for whatever new forum INTUIT is intending to succeed with?

I don't trust INTUIT. It's one entity that attempts to produce products and services for competing parties simultaneously and couldn't care about the ethics.

So I question the last words of the warning notice "on-going integrity"

Taxaddict1 (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Does anyone have the link to the FB page?

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 16, 2014
Taxannals? Really? Is it misspelled?

Cheering for ChrisV2! Make something happen....

Praying for David/D&T. *sigh* Lord, heal. Bring peace.

Finally, if hold our subscriptions hostage....? lol

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
I like calling a new site "The Yellow Box". My 2 cents.

D & T, I am disheartened to hear of your diagnosis, but I'm glad you seem to have top notch medical care. May the disease progress as slowly as this site's pages load!

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
That is funny, Joan. Thanks to all for their thoughts.

I take a pill, Riluzole, twice a day. Will the liver be able to take this medicine? Every month for the next three, I will have it checked.

I plan to drive the RV next week to PA Dutch Country and we have reservations at a campground near Bar Harbor for late September. I wear braces on both legs thru mid-shin to stop my drop-foot condition, but cannot drive with one on the right foot.

I plan to be more active as this site sinks slowly in the west. I love you guys (and gals, too)

Mhewes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Annals, as in record of events. theyellowbox.com/org is already registered.

Mhewes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
http://www.theyellowbox.com/

Wiles (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
Anybody else here ever use the The Tax Book's Forum?

My 2 cents...

I used it when TA went down last year. There is a small learning curve, but it has some nice features that I found useful. I came back to TA when TA was back online. The main reason I prefer TA is for the contributors that are here. If the same contributors went to that forum, I think we would all be OK with that.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 16, 2014
There's a Yellow Box church nearby they call it. Not officially...but that's how it's know around here.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
D&T, best of luck to you.

Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
David: Hang in, hang out, hang around. Don't hang up. Spell Czech

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCTvXHtxtaM&feature=kp

Makbo (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
"Does anyone have the link to the FB page? "

https://www.facebook.com/groups/213070672214028/

There is also a closed FB group which started with a core of refugees from the old NAEA webboard, not sure if you have to be an EA to join:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/602744379759606/

JAD (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
Tax Book's Forum looks fine to me. I did not know about it. I wonder if there is a way to open up the whole thread instead of having to click on each post in a topic.

Coddington (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
D&T, T&P for you.

There are many other groups that tend to be high quality:

Yahoo Tax Professionals

Yahoo Tax Chat

Kleinrock's TaxTalk (now CCH)

CalCPA's TaxTalk for Attorneys and CPAs (EAs can join but can't post unless they work for a CPA or law firm.)

Yahoo's Tax Pro Exchange

Misc.Taxes.Moderated Founded by refugees from an old CompuServe list many years ago.

The American Bar Association Section of Taxation's open listserve Not for the faint of heart, but a great place for estate, gift, and partnership taxation.

Taocpa (talk|edits) said:

2014-04-17
Sorry to hear, David.

I think we should keep going and forget the other "tax" websites. This place has its own charm.

Tom

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
This is what makes a real flower different from an artificial one: the real ones die and ironically that fact gives them their worth.

All good things must come to an end. Not since the days when Cervante's character Don Quixote roamed the land of Spain has such a journey been made as We have made on this site. It is time to return to the home, put the books of chivalry away, and die (hopefully not in the literal sense of the word).

Yes, we go out on somewhat of a low point (a very low point), but think of it as trading in an old car.

Let's face it, we're sick of the old car. True, it has been a trusty mechanical steed in times of need, and for our younger members perhaps even an occasion of sin, nevertheless, we are sick of it and it's time to turn it in for the "new car" smell: in the end, the human lives for the smell of the thing.

Guya (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
The beauty of this site is the discussion between professionals and the desire to share and become stronger.

Oddly I sometimes come across my own past postings when I search on Google for an answer to some knotty problem.

More seriously this site has value; it generates lots of hits so it could be sold as a going concern by Intuit; rather than killed. Why are Intuit killing something they could sell to a third party? The existing site and archive could easily be hosted and monitored from a low cost country and make money for a purchaser who wanted to run this.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
Guya, in one sense, this proposed act (mark the word "proposed" here) could be seen as an advancement of the American character in the sense that is totally out of character for the American character: that is, to kill off a cash cow (or even a spare change-cow).

However, the Corporation, and particularly the publicly traded one, cannot...c a n n o t ....and I mean cannot let stand any loose ends and this site is loose at all ends.

Loose at all ends shall not be and the Corporation usually manages to strangle such loose ends in the crib. Well, they let us get a few years out of the crib, but again, it shall not be, and however they kill us (draw and quarter, gibbet, auto-da-fe, whatever) we will be killed and scattered to the ten corners of the known universe.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
Oddly I sometimes come across my own past postings when I search on Google for an answer to some knotty problem. Don't know your age, but guaranteed it will happen more often as you get older.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 17, 2014
That makes me crazy, too! It's like reading from myself in the past...and I wonder, how did I know that then and I don't know it now? It is truly jarring.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
Yes, but let me put in a word for "forgetting". There is something to be said for it.

If you leave a wall blank in the city, some young hooligan will come by and put some art on it. From time to time it's good art. But, life is but a series of accretions, as an oyster builds his shell, so our lives are built. Sure as h*ll some laboring man will be tasked with painting over with gray or biege the work of the young artist.

Then, another young one will come along and do the same thing: make some art, and then the laboring man is tasked with wiping it out again; and so life proceeds: putting something good down, forgetting it, painting over it; and our memories are always Only Our memories: we can never remember It exactly as it was.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
Yellowbox.com is also taken. lol

And for those looking for the facebook version of out Taxalmanac coffee shop style, simply put taxalmanac in the facebook search box at the top, their version of the yellow box and you will find us.

Or search me out Fred Stein and message and I can add you.

Chris, I found you on facebook, but that looked like your business page, i was off relaxamisizing yesterday but am now in the office for half-time work these days and will again try to add you the person.

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
JR - that is a puzzling experience I would have to admit. Our sails are just getting older........I guess - but they still draw energy and keep us in the right direction.

David - my prayers are with you my friend - just keep on truckin' and the wind will always be at your back. Enjoy your vacation for all of us!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 17, 2014
Fred, I just hit the add me box on the FB page. Initials should clue you in!

BFStax (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
My wife and I both know how to make webpages and would like to offer to take the lead on continuing this site. I have only used it for approximately one year, but I have received such great advice that I would hate to see this disappear.

The first order of business would certainly be making that damn yellow box MUCH more helpful in searches!

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
BF- are you going to require that in order to use your site - tax professionals have to go through the screening process of being "Trusted Users"?

Captcook (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
Uncle, is it really productive to try to find things wrong with something someone is offering at this early stage of trying to find alternatives?

There is a lot of work to do to develop something that will be a reasonable alternative. If you would like to make sure you hear of whatever alternative is developed, send me an email at taxalmanac.doomsday@gmail.com and I will send out updates if this forum no longer allows communication.

BFStax (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
BF- are you going to require that in order to use your site - tax professionals have to go through the screening process of being "Trusted Users"?

I haven't spent more than a minute thinking about this so it is way too early for that question. Apparently the operator of this site is still working on ways to continue it, so we shall see what happens. I think the vetting process of making sure people are qualified tax professionals makes the information that much more credible. You don't want a site with a lot of misinformation because the users aren't qualified.

So now thinking about it, I would probably do something similar.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
Well, if we, as in the collective we, or a few we's are running/owning/adminning the site, then the rules are our own and it's easy to place some kind of vetting requirement in place.

We have a while to work through this. And both Tony <CaptCook> and Chris who currently have alternatives will both be members of the Facebook group.

Facebook just isn't a good place for a research and learn forum such as what we have here. This is the first place I come, the first place I search and the answer is usually here and the code sections supporting or the case law supporting is all there.

Facebook just doesn't provide that. Facebook is a coffeehouse. TA is different.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
Chris, you have been added to the FB version.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 17, 2014
Everyone should join the FB page just so that we can find each other. When this ship goes down, and there aren't arrangements fully in place yet, a quick message to the FB group will alert them to where to head next.

Frankly (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
"You don't want a site with a lot of misinformation because the users aren't qualified."

The nature of the discussions here are such that unqualifed users don't post. Misinformation is quickly refuted. It is self-policing.

Mhewes (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2014
The domain asktheyellowbox.com is available.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 17, 2014
Frankly, the yellow box has been so unhelpful that I don't need added trauma from that!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 17, 2014
How about we call it what it is? taxprosforum.com is open.

Makbo (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
"This is what makes a real flower different from an artificial one: the real ones die and ironically that fact gives them their worth. "

Totally agree. My wife has an alleged orchid on our dining room table that she received in early March, she keeps on saying it's real, even though it has not changed one bit in the last 4 weeks.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
an alleged orchid Funny.

A relative by marriage (OK, my mother-in-law) had a paper flower in a pot in her room for a year or more. Never watered. Never died. She insisted it was real. She had Alzheimer's.

Makbo (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
""They are tropical plants, and it's hard to replicate those conditions at home.""

Alleged orchid was a gift from our daughter. I can only assume that there is rampant orchid fraud going on in our country. Anyone who's innocent enough could be fooled.

Wiles (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
I just spoke with Tim Doyle. He is working on some potential options, so at this point folks - please - the recommendation is to continue enjoying the site and let's not scatter just yet. As more information becomes available it will be shared here. Tim agrees wholeheartedly that the community and content is very important so he is pushing on this within Intuit. Anyone who works within a large corporation knows that decisions and plans take some time; Tim is working the process.

June 1 will come quickly like a thief in the night and all of this content, some valuable -- or is it invaluable, will go poof!

It does seem incredible that a money-making juggernaut like Intuit cannot find a way to make money on this. How much does this site really cost to run? The traffic is incredible. Do a Google search on most tax subjects and TA is either at the top of the list or on the first page. You can't sell enough ads to pay the registration fees plus $30K/year for site maintenance?

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
I believe the issue with the site (and this is just my opinion) is that the folks who worked on it were pulled off onto something else, and that the basic integrity of the site is at risk due to out of date software and lack of a 'gate keeper' type of role in managing the site. This site does get decent traffic but for a corporation like Intuit to justify the resources to keep it going, some ads on the site will not be enough to cover the ongoing costs or liability.


Again, just my opinion and not based on any conversation I've had with anyone, except with myself.


I want to give Tim time to vet what I asked him through Intuit and solve this within Intuit -- or agree to let us have the content for archiving/preservation. I already have a brand new site up and running on my test server, with modern forum software installed. I want to style it to look as much like these forums as possible since this simple layout seems to work well for us. I'll be doing that over the next few days. Once ready, if you want to you can register there and at least we will be able to keep this community together. I respectfully ask that you guys give me a shot at this. I run a very large automotive community/forum today which I've spent hundreds of hours writing custom code for, and in general I have a skill set that lines up pretty well with this type of challenge.


If Intuit lets us have the content then I can easily migrate it to the new site, for preservation. We'd have that as reference, along with a modern forum environment that would be more or less future-proof.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Chris, how about I set up a new thread for upgrades/requests to add. I know a simple thumbs up/thumbs down button would be nice to have.

I won't create one til I get a yes, go ahead from you though.

PDXTaxman (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
I like TaxProsForum.com -- prefer it to all others so far mentioned, in fact -- and I suspect there are any number of variations on that theme not currently in use. But just so you all know, YellowBoxTax is also available.

I thought I posted the other day in this thread saying my partner and I would also be willing to pay an annual fee to help maintain a successor to this site (one hopefully incorporating the entire archives from here). Can't find that posting now, so I'm saying it again. My partner this morning went further even, suggesting we ought to agree to assist whoever (or the several whoevers) who have the technical skills and commitment to build a new site. I'm not sure what help we could give (programming isn't our strong suit), but the offer is there if those of you more technically proficient think you can use some assistance.

Over the last 8 years or so we've repeatedly found TaxAlmanac to be a fantastic source of information and professional succor. I've tried to contribute back, within my modest abilities, by posting useful replies both in Tax Questions and Business Development. I would really hate losing this community.

P.S. -- As I was writing the comment above, Chris posted his update, including the fact that he's personally created similar forums, and has a beta for this one already on his server. Not public, but poised for implementation. Chris, I can't tell you how much I appreciate this, and I suspect that feeling is one virtually everyone shares! Thank you, thank you for your efforts.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
You are very welcome. I am partially doing this for selfish reasons as well; as you guys know even though I'm an EA I don't have the deep experience you have and I rely on help here on occasion ;-)


Fred - that's a great idea but before we do that I think we should get to the new "whatever" we will be doing. The biggest killer to any SW development project is scope creep, so for this I'd like to take a crawl-walk-run approach. If we can get the old content saved someplace and have a new forum environment to begin using, to me that would be a huge 'win'. Then you guys can start making your demands :-) :-)

Wiles (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Chris, Do you know how expensive it would be for Intuit to maintain the TA site as just read-only? Even in a read-only environment, would the integrity of the site begin to fail eventually without ongoing maintenance?

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
oh and sure...I can reserve taxprosforum.com (and might as well cover taxproforum.com too...common alternative). Ideally, Intuit would let us continue to use taxalmanac.org since it already has a solid google presence as previously noted...but in the (likely) event that doesn't pan out, a new name would be good to have lined up.

JAD (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
You sound pretty enthusiastic about doing this and confident in your skills. I'd rather migrate to a new forum that Chris/we/someone with a vested interest manages/owns/controls. As long as we keep posting here, we create content that may disappear at the whim of Intuit.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Wiles, to answer your question, to simply 'freeze' the site and leave it available, the ongoing costs would be minimal. If we had to translate it to datacenter costs I'd guess around $500 per month at most (and that's a high estimate). It could eventually start to fall apart if it gets to the point where the code base is no longer supported by new levels of Apache or PHP that they need to go to (for security reasons) -- and who knows that could be where it's at right now. I've seen big companies make some pretty sweeping decisions because the CIO's office said all servers need to be at patch level xyz of the operating system and if they don't get there they will be taken off the network. Then all of a sudden it becomes very expensive to update the application code or even rewrite major portions of it, to comply.

Again, pure conjecture on my part so nobody should interpret that as anything I've heard or discussed with anyone from Intuit.

Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
I was thinkin' we could have a contest to see who would get the very last post on this forum, but then I thought some more: If this thing goes 'poof' at midnight, who would know who got the last post??

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 18, 2014
Exactly, Jessica! As Meatloaf sang, "You took the words right out of my mouth..."

Mhewes (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
I reserved taxproforums.com for one year. I think the best course of action is to start our own forum site that is not associated with a private company like Intuit or Tax Book since they can decide to pull the plug at a moment's notice. We can use an online forum hosting service such as ProBoards or FreeForums.org and link the taxproforums.com domain to the host service, and at least we'll have a forum by June 1st.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Mhewes - couple of things. First I believe you'd need to sign up a subdomain with those free services, not a domain. So it would be taxproforums.freeforums.org - through their control panel.


Also I have seen examples of forums that start out on sites like that then once they get too large the person who founded the forum wants to move it to a dedicated site, and the Ts & Cs disallow it. So the content is basically hostage. A simple test is to ask them if they provide either a Cpanel or database backup you can FTP somewhere else. Things could have changed recently but I would research this carefully before going down that path. Personally I would never put one of my sites under their control but given their popularity, I'm sure a lot of people don't have an issue with it.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
If Chris can already have us on our own hosted place, all the better.

And Chris, tis why I asked as I do understand how scope creep can halt productivity.

Does it make sense, and I imagine it probably does, to get the new one up and running as a place for new things and threads?

I am actually looking forward to having our own non intuit site.

Wiles (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
I do appreciate that Intuit has given us a heads-up on this. Typically, these kinds of updated features from Intuit come without warning.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Fred - yes. Regardless of how this ends up I believe the best course of action is to move the discussion forums to a more modern infrastructure. This is what I am working on right now, and I could literally point you guys to it today but it is not ready to my standard of aesthetics and design. I do believe we have until at least June 1st, so if you guys can give me another few days to finish the layout (maybe a week...I do have some extensions to finish up prep for) -- we should be fine. I want it to be a decent first impression, not looking like it's half-baked.


I worry right now about two things: (1) the old content here and how it can be preserved and (2) getting the word out to every member here about the migration plan, if in fact Intuit does give up on this site as they have indicated.


Setting up the new forum on a new server, etc. is the least of my worries...it's pretty much 'done'...

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Chris, what you are doing is awesome!

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Thanks Cathy :-) I really hope the dimes line up and we can retain the old content...

Mhewes (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Chris, take a look at https://www.forums.net/ they say we can use our top level domain name for a small fee. Also, they say we can make a SQL backup if we needed to move or export the forum at some point in the future. Also, they said they can investigate importing/translating the data from TA for a fee. Looks like a good option, but do you know about how many pageviews per month here at TA, less than 50K pageviews per month is $120 per year at forums.net.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Mhewes - I'm not sure why we'd go down this path. Based on what I observe I'd expect TA to be on par with the automotive forum I run which is regularly north of 500,000 pageviews per month. I also don't want to look for the low cost solution trust me on this I have been down this road before. I don't mean to disparage those group-hosting sites for forums but I really don't like them and would never use one. I'd rather have my server(s) in the datacenter that works for me, under my control.


They won't be able to import TA unless someone from TA is willing to work with them. I would rather keep a single conversation going with Intuit on this right now; if you guys disagree with my approach please let me know...

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 18, 2014
And while I'm on board with your work and thoughts CV2, let's ask the obvious questions: what happens when you walk in front of a truck and/or get mad at Kevin? lol How do we ensure permanency so that this is a one-time event? And what do you estimate your costs to run?

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Well, regardless of if it's a corporation, a group of people or one person who heads up a site there are always risks that there could be disagreements or sudden events as you describe. Let's say I drop dead the minute you all sign onto the new site. I'm easy to find and my wife would hand the keys over to the lead moderators. I could also write a simple program that scans the SSN death index for my SSN every week and if found, emails the information.


Regarding costs, I already have a large server in place that has some headroom. Initial cut-over to a new site would not drive a tremendous amount of traffic so I'm not too worried about it. As it ramps I might need to move some things around, onto another server perhaps -- or scale the existing one (it's an elastic system, so additional compute nodes, memory and disk space can be dialed in instantly). Hard to say exactly what the costs would be, but nothing I would ever expect to have to charge a subscription for...I really don't like that model anyway.


The way I look at it, someone needs to do something. You guys have been really nice to me over the years and I like this community so I want to try to preserve it.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 18, 2014
Wow. You the man. Really!

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Is it out of line to ask you for a link to the automotive forum? That way, we'd get a sense of what you are describing. Or at least this old fart would. Besides, I have a strong interest in autos.

JAD (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2014
Yes, it's wonderful that you have the skillset and motivation. I think you should be compensated, though. Part of the conversation should include how that happens. Either you are the owner of the site, creating a business - and I'm all for that, if that's what you are doing - or we are all working together to create something for the community, in which case you should at least make your hourly.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

19 April 2014
I appreciate that but there would be no need for compensation. I'm thinking that down the road I could hook in a service of standing up simple websites for tax preparers, for a fee. Look at chriscappo dot com as an example; I built that site from a blank slate in literally one afternoon. I could clone versions of that site with some tweaks of layout, colors, etc. If it works out, great and if not like I said I am mainly interested in keeping this community intact so I can continue asking my dumb questions.


This is weird to me, mixing my two worlds but if you guys want to see the other site I spent hundreds of hours building... autobody101 dot com


Someone buy a spray gun or an air compressor...please (just kidding!)

JAD (talk|edits) said:

19 April 2014
Wow! You did that!! I can't believe how fast the pages load. Funny to read what they are writing about... Maybe like if they were to read our discussions. What fun!

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 19, 2014
That's how they're supposed to work! The search function actually works, too!

+1 Vote for ChrisV2

Let's rock this out, and pray that Intuit allows him to scrape off everything here.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

19 April 2014
ChrisV2, your site looks great.

+2 Vote for ChrisV2

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 19, 2014
Kind of wondering how he does it. FT job, PT tax practice, and then this stuff?

PDXTaxman (talk|edits) said:

19 April 2014
I just visited the autobody101 site also, and it's excellent. The forums load instantly and look great. It's different than here, of course (and even more so as I was a visitor, not a registered user). But at a glance I think it's terrific.

+3 vote for ChrisV2!

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

20 April 2014
Thanks for the encouragement, I appreciate that.


I had a productive evening last night.


I have not heard back from Tim yet, so I am continuing on the assumption that the current site will be shut down. I would also like to speak or correspond with Kevin and Trillium since they did so much of the heavy lifting on the existing site and would appreciate some guidance. If you are interested please contact me via info at chriscappo dot com. If not please let me know that as well.

Uncle Sam (talk|edits) said:

20 April 2014
Hey ChrisV2-

Who is going to set the ground rules for participating in this new website (whatever and whenever it will be up and running), who is going to monitor the behavior of the participants, what subjects or practices will be prohibited, who is going to take care of mechanical breakdowns, will there be "Trusted User" screening credentials, and so forth? So before you set out to start this new venture - as generous and as it may seem - a number of facts need to be established first.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

20 April 2014
Think positive.

Belle (talk|edits) said:

April 20, 2014
1) D&T - I'm very sorry to hear your news. Thoughts & hugs are sent your way.

2) If this site goes down, I might have to retire <w>. I haven't posted much recently, but it's a go-to source for reinforcement/research. Dave Fogel single-handedly got me up to speed (in English) on foreclosures/short sales several years ago when that debacle hit. 3) I will help/contribute/pay fees/etc to keep this resource going. Unfortunately, I don't have ChrisV2's skill set; but will do any grunt work that I can.

Thanks to all for keeping this moving forward!

JAD (talk|edits) said:

20 April 2014
I respectfully disagree with Uncle. Those are all minor issues, comparatively speaking, and we can deal with them later.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

20 April 2014
Uncle Sam all those points will be addressed and in a way that will maintain the culture of this site and eliminate the problematic aspects (like spammers and outright crashes or being offline for weeks). I respectfully ask that you trust me on that point; I know how to do this stuff. The server I run takes daily offsite backups, I can go to hourly if needed (but don't anticipate that). Even if the datacenter were to burn down I could have the image reloaded on another datacenter in a few hours.


Thanks Belle...and there would never be a fee or subscription model for any new site (that I create, anyway). I really don't like that model.

RuthC (talk|edits) said:

20 April 2014
Chris....I have always enjoyed and learned so much from this forum. I can't imagine it being put out to pasture. But with your help I can see the light! People like you just drive everyone in a good direction. Although I am no way a computer person, and I haven't asked many questions, I can tell you I have used this forum for a lot of needed tax info. I know what you are doing, and know this forum would be in good hands. Your offer to do this whole project is so generous of you in so many ways. I would like to thank you and everyone else in this forum that is helping to make the continuation of this forum happen. Hopefully, you will make sure all of the users are informed what to do when the new site is ready. Thanks so much again!!! Someone upstairs is watching over you!

Lhhesscpa (talk|edits) said:

20 April 2014
I suggest taking this to yahoogroups. I've enjoyed participating in several. One of the most convenient features is being able to post from online accounts and pop 3 e-mail clients and also receive individual e-mails. -- Larry Hess, CPA | Albuquerque, NM

PDXTaxman (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
Funny how these things work. Once I learned the website was slated for destruction (and the tax season was safely over), I took some time to explore TaxAlmanac's nooks and crannies. I'd never done it before. I noticed a link to the left for "categories," which I'd never looked at. It led me to a very useful feature I wish I'd realized was here years ago. I hope, ChrisV, that the replacement site you're working on will be able to continue this nifty option for quickly finding hordes of postings on particular topics.

I also encountered what might be one of the problems that's afflicting the site. I found an "A-Z index," another feature I'd never used. So I clicked on it, then clicking randomly on "F" to see what topics were hiding under the hood. Whew! Hundreds. But when I started looking at them, they were odd, many if not most with no discernible tax association. I clicked on a few and it was spam. Tons and tons of spam. I wouldn't be surprised if 95%, maybe 100%, of those links are spam. Who's taking time to post those here? What are they gaining by it? Is it possible the entire site often runs poorly precisely because all that garbage is down there, clogging up the system? ChrisV, you might want to take a look, and if/when the day comes that the contents of Tax Almanac are ported over, perhaps it'll be possible to leave that all out.

Lhesscpa, I too am a member of several Yahoo Groups. It's a useful took they have there. But my suspicion is that Yahoo Groups isn't remotely capable of doing all that we are used to seeing here, nor what ChrisV has in operation at Autobody101. Not designed that way, not robust enough for the intense use we would want to give it.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
Chris V2 has the skills and the understanding we need. He has offered to take this on. He has begun to do so. In fact, he is well into it. He has been patient and responsive. I'd like to see us just let him run with it for a while. My guess is there will still be time for him to ask for our input.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
The issue with Yahoo Groups, is you're dependent on their server. Chris has his own server and the technical expertise to do this. I see give him a chance

NewYorkEA (talk|edits) said:

April 21, 2014
I think that what Chris has offered to do for us is great and I really hope we can implement his solution if this site is in fact shutting down. I'm also more than willing to contribute to the cause, whether it would be paying Intuit to keep this site alive or funding an alternative option like Chris is working on.

taxprotalk.com/forums/ registration info

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
Status update.


I have two sites running right now, a development site and a production site.


The site is running wordpress as the main content system. I need to do some surgery on wordpress to hide the fact that it is wordpress, so that part is not quite ready yet. This content system will be able to support article writing, news feeds, etc.


I also have the forum up and running and it is configured for user roles and permissions. This took a fair amount of time, and it is in line with my overall security strategy that helps eliminate abuse from spammers. PDX is right, this current site is full of spam activity that you guys don't see. The registered users here that are pure spam ids number in the 10s of thousands and I suspect part of the reason this site was down for several weeks at one point. There is just no easy way of cleaning it up.


I block many "problem" countries right at the server so my sites will not even come up on the user's screen in Russia, for example.


I have a solution for the old content (discussion threads) at taxalmanac. It can be saved, I have tested this and it works. I just need to talk to Tim to find out status on the shutdown plan.


I need some help:


I need a few folks to check out the new forum software and register, so I can test the process. http://www.taxprotalk.com/forums/

You will need to get past the HTACCESS block I have on that site right now, so when you get the pop-up in your browser as you go to that site, respond with the user "taxpro" and password "citizen". You may have to do this twice. Once you are in, it will allow you to explore the new forums.


Anyone from here who wants to register there can do so at this point and fill out their user profile (you can copy/paste from your profile here if you wish). This data will not be lost, the remaining work on the forum is aesthetics. I did a lot of that today, shooting for a simple style that is easy on the eyes and not too 'busy'. This can always be updated later when I have more time.


Work to be done:

- testing

- complete wordpress integration

- finish the style/colors work on both the forum and wordpress so they are seamless

- figure out how we are going to handle the old content from this site

- more testing


The critical part is over now, so the rest of this can happen over the next couple of weeks. Once initial testing is done we can start letting more people into the new forum and start the discussions going. I see no reason that we would not be ready for the June 1st termination date.

Kendrick (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
What? TA dying? I just found out. I don't want to believe it.

Include me in for paying a fee or whatever it takes to keep this brain trust together.

As a lone CPA, I can't tell you how much help I have received from TA over the years, how much I have come to rely on it.

This is scary.

RuthC (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
I just checked out the forum briefly and was very impressed. I even registered without any problem. Great job Chris!!! I realize it is only the starting of this new forum, but it means a lot to everyone. Looking forward to the new website!!!

Supdat (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
Chris - thank you for what is undoubtedly a Herculean effort.

JAD (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
I registered, but I can't activate my account. Every time I enter my user name and password and click "ok" the authentication box goes back to the global user name & password per above.

I can access the site via Mozilla but not through my other browser (outlook?).

JAD (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
Now what I’m getting is a windows security box that says that the website is asking for my user name & password and that the server is from a protected area. I enter the info, click ok, and the box just comes back up with my password deleted.

Then I finally got through, but I got to an error message that says,

This server could not verify that you are authorized to access the document requested. Either you supplied to the wrong credentials… Your browser doesn’t understand how to supply the credentials required.

Additionally, a 401 authorization required error was encountered while trying to use a ErrorDocument to handle the request.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
First you guys are very welcome. Thanks for taking the time to try it out.


JAD - there is a temporarily password challenge on the site, this is the "taxpro" userid and "citizen" password I mentioned -- when you get that windows security box pop-up those are the credentials you need to put in to get access to the site. Then, the forum registration userid and password is of your choosing and will work normally. It probably hit you again from Outlook because you clicked on the activation link for forum registration. Looks to me like your registration went through fine.


As soon as a brief testing phase is over I will remove that site-wide block and it will behave like a normal site.

JAD (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
Ok, I tried posting, seems good. Sorry for the confusion. I am not the most technically savvy person. Your forum looks amazing.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 21, 2014
I'm in, waiting for ...ah, here it is!...authorization.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

April 21, 2014
Yep, done. Excellent. I love green.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
The volume of spam on this site is downright sickening. Some searches I did revealed a tremendous amount. My sympathies to the moderators who tried to best to get rid of it.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

21 April 2014
We had to give up about a year ago because we felt we cared more than Intuit did about the fate of this board, and we were using 3 hours a day each fighting off spam. For free.
Personal tools