Go to a tax seminar and retire at lunch

A very first happened this year. A gentleman at one of our seminars came out around 11:30 a.m. (right after the §199A discussion) and told me he didn't want to do tax returns any more. It was just too much. He explained that he had sold his practice around three years ago but still did returns for family and friends — you know, the people who pay little or nothing for your toil. He didn't know what to do.

I suggested that he contact the person who had purchased his practice and see if they would take these clients. Or, he could also refer them to other tax pro friends. I told him that my experience was that it's all or nothing. Don't just get rid of a few and still do close family. Imagine doing an IRC §199A return for your brother. The IRS audits it and now you're back in the grind.

He thanked me with a thoughtful look on his face.

After lunch he came up to me with his book in his arm. "Thanks," he said. "I've contacted the guy who bought my practice, and he'll take the clients and even pay me for them. I quit. Since I'm not doing taxes any more, I don't need to stay."

With a smile on his face, he said, "Thanks for everything. I especially enjoyed the chicken lunch today!"

Take-out for inmate who does taxes for guards

A five-month investigation has concluded that Robert Potchen, age 61, an inmate in Florida's Orange County Jail system, was allowed to sit in the guard's station, eat Chinese take-out, and access the internet in exchange for offering financial advice to jail officers and doing their taxes.1

Potchen seemingly offered his advice to everyone. He wrote a letter for guards regarding a mortgage and student loan debt, and even wrote legal motions for an inmate serving a 45-year sentence. And word got around. At one point, the line of officers seeking advice grew so long Potchen was unable to attend that day's church service — a requirement of the unit he was housed in.

But Potchen's good fortune was only temporary, as two inmates sent letters to the Orange County Jail internal affairs division detailing the special treatment he had received.

Five officers helped by Potchen were found to be in violation of corrections department policy, but they had all resigned or retired before the five-month investigation ended. And there's no word on whether Potchen worked as a tax preparer before he was jailed, but what's a potential Circular 230 violation to someone who's already doing time?

1 www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-orange-county-jail-internal-investigation-20181228-story.html

Move over Bitcoin: CryptoKitties are here!

What happens when you cross Bitcoin with Beanie Babies? The result: CryptoKitties.

It's the latest craze in the crypto world. Why use the latest blockchain technology for high finance, when you can buy or even create your very own personalized virtual cartoon cat?

That's what the founders of CryptoKitties are banking on. Launched in November 2017, CryptoKitties has now sold over 400,000 unique kittens and brought in over $27 million.

According to CryptoKitties Sales,1 an independent website that tracks their sales, the highest price paid for a single CryptoKitty named Dragon was over $172,000.

Not sure how to play? Don't worry, the CryptoKitties website provides a detailed, seven-step guide on "how to breed." Not sure what to do with your kitty once you bring him home? There are whole new add-on games coming online that help you dress your kitty, take it racing, or even train it in kitty battles.

The game has been so popular that it actually has used up 25% of the Ethereum platform's capacity on a single day. Go figure.

So, when you've given up trying to figure out that silly IRC §199A deduction, go create your own personalized, one-of-a-kind CryptoKitty, "CryptoQBI."

1 kittysales.co

A few fun facts about this week's writers:

Lynn Freer, EALynn Freer, EA, is a French literature major, so of course her favorite vacation destination is France. Here she is dining on mussels and fish stew near Nice.

Sandy Weiner, J.D.Sandy Weiner, J.D., as California editor, loves all things California. Whether it's hiking at Big Sur or playing at the beach in San Diego where she lives, Sandy takes full advantage of all that California has to offer as a way to clear her head after trying to comprehend and explain California's Revenue & Taxation Code.

Austin LewisAustin Lewis does more editing than writing for Spidell, so it's not often that you see his name in print. But he traveled to Texas last year and found his name all over town.

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