"I should have been a ..."

I can't count how many times in my tax career I acquired a new client and almost fell out of my chair when I learned how much they made in a profession I never gave a second thought about. Who's with me on this one? How many times have we, as tax professionals, uttered the words, "I should have been a ..."

Don't get me wrong — I enjoy what I do, and I provide well for my family. It also turns out that at 40 years old with 21 years of industry experience, it's a great position to be in with so many retiring tax professionals. But that was by accident, not because of great career advice when I was young.

Judge Judy is retiring from making new episodes of her eponymous show. It is reported that in 2013, she made approximately $47 million per year working just 52 days per year. In 2017, Forbes reported she earned $147 million pretax. It would be impossible to advise a young person on how to become the next Judge Judy, but what professions would you recommend a high school student pursue based on your tax experience? Below is a list of some professions I have run across that pay better than I would have expected and/or provide incredible benefits. The obvious ones, like doctors, are omitted.

I should have been a ...

  • Plumber
  • Veterinary oncologist
  • Fireman
  • Human resource manager
  • Financial planner
  • Salesperson
  • Power engineer
  • Recruiter
  • Pilot
  • Real estate developer
  • Nurse
  • Hospital administrator

E-mail me at mikeg@spidell.com if you have any you would like to add to this list.

A judge by any other name

In the March 3 election, in Los Angeles County, we voted a number of judges into office. While ordinarily these contests wouldn't have piqued much interest for me, I did have my eye on one: Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 76.

That's because one of the candidates was Judge Mike Cummins. Doesn't seem so weird that a judge would be up for consideration for a seat on the Superior Court, right? Oh, naïve Tribune reader.

In 2017, Cummins had his name legally changed so that his first name is now "Judge." And when he announced he was running for Office No. 76, there was backlash. His opponent announced her intent to file a writ to block the Registrar-Recorder's Office from listing his first name "Judge" on the ballot because it could be misleading for voters.1 Articles appeared calling him unfit for service and "a trickster." But it looks like merely calling attention to his stunt did the trick: Emily Cole won the spot with 84% of the vote.2

Taking a page out of Mr. Cummins' book, I think I'm going to change my name. I like Comptroller; it has less of a ring and more of a thud, but it should help me secure an election. Plus, I already have a great campaign slogan: "I put the ‘troll' in comptroller."

1 www.metnews.com/articles/2019/perspectives121019.htm
2 https://results.lavote.net/text-results/4085#contest-6

AB 5: Federal DOL opinion letter

Contrary to AB 5, a DOL opinion letter (FLSA 2019-6) was issued to an unidentified virtual marketplace company that was an online and/or smartphone-based referral service that connects service providers to end-market consumers to provide services directly to the consumers.

Although the letter only applies to the company to which it was issued, the DOL noted that these types of virtual referral companies frequently connect providers and consumers to provide transportation (think Uber), delivery (think Grubhub), cleaning, household services, and even plumbing (think TaskRabbit). These companies may use the guidelines laid out in the letter to help structure their company's business model.

Legislation update: The exemption introduced by SB 868 has been modified to now include photographers and videographers in addition to freelance writers, editors, and newspaper cartoonists.

If you need more information on Dynamex and AB 5, attend Spidell's 2020 Post-Tax Season Update and Review Seminar. Click here for more information and registration details.

A few fun facts about this week's writers:

Mike Giangrande, J.D., LL.M.Mike Giangrande, J.D., LL.M., is an Orange County native, and you can find him doing some backyard gardening, playing with his 3 kids, or daydreaming about tee-time while he's answering Message Board questions.

Kathryn Zdan, EAKathryn Zdan, EA, is obsessed with true crime documentaries and photography. On weekends, you can find her around Wilmington photographing the refineries and eating at The Chowder Barge.

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.

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