Holding down two jobs

A few months ago, my window washer came for his semi-annual visit. While he was there, he asked me if I owned my own business and if I had employees. When I said yes, he handed me a business card and said, "Let's get together and talk because you can claim the research and development credit, and I can help you get money back from your prior-year tax returns."

I explained that we didn't do research and development to which he replied, "All companies that have employees are doing research every day and are eligible for this credit." I was flabbergasted, and when I went to his website I saw all kinds of outrageous claims, as well as the assurance that any audit that might possibly happen would be handled by them at no extra charge. He was very convincing, and of course, like your hairdresser or your barber, your window washer is a good source of tax and financial advice.

I recalled this exchange when I read IR 2021-45 from the IRS. They are auditing businesses that filed amended returns to claim the IRC §199 domestic production activities deduction that expired in 2017. I wonder if my window washer sells that tax benefit as well. I think he would say that if you have a business in the U.S. and you are busy, you have domestic activities, right?


There are many legitimate companies that are experts and provide valuable and legal analyses to help businesses claim this and other complex credits. But there are some who are not, and these are who the IRS is warning about in IR 2021-45.

Singing the EDD Blues

The COVID hit in March
The jobs were gone by May
People need some money
And came EDD's way

Millions of new claims coming at me today
Thousands of e-mails and calls sent our way
Can't push these EDD blues away

Too few of us
Too many of them
What's an EDD worker to do?
Got to find a way to make it through

Millions of new claims coming at me today
Thousands of e-mails and calls coming our way
Can't push these EDD blues away

Claims came from jail
(They weren't used to post bail)
The Scattered Canary looking for the island life
Is here today to cause me untold strife

Millions of new claims coming at me today
Thousands of e-mails and calls coming our way
Can't push these EDD blues away

I see vaccines are finally here
Counties and cities move up the tiers
Jobs are finally coming back
Does this mean they will finally cut us some slack?

Millions of new claims coming at me today
Thousands of e-mails and calls coming our way
Can't push these EDD blues away

People's personal perspective

Everyone knows what PPP stands for, right? It's the Paycheck Protection Program ... unless you're not a tax professional. Maybe you're a medical professional or a scientist, or maybe you live in another country. Depending on your wheelhouse or your location, PPP could mean a lot of things:

  • Pentose Phosphate Pathway (sugar metabolism — probably the more pathways, the better)
  • Pollution Prevention Plan (sounds like a good thing)
  • Platelet-Poor Plasma (doesn't sound like a good thing)
  • Pixels Par Pouce (Dots Per Inch; Vive la France)

How about FTB? Here are some alternatives to Franchise Tax Board:

  • Family Tax Benefit (Australian welfare assistance)
  • Feed the Beast (why no one can retire)
  • Far Too Busy (your life right now)

Even the TCJA has another meaning: Technisch Creatief Jeugdcentrum Arnhem (Dutch for Arnhem Technical Creative Youth). And FFCRA? Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Acronym overload is an international phenomenon. But the tax community can be proud that there's at least one acronym that no one else can claim: TCDTRA. No organization, no country, can match this convolution of words and letters. Bravo!

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., has been surviving the pandemic by climbing every nearby mountain, learning to play the cello, and binge watching old episodes of West Wing with her daughter.

Diane FullerDiane Fuller loves to read, cook, and go to Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho, as many times as possible during the year with her family including grandkids and dogs.

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