Tax Season Tribune

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IRS Roadmap

You asked, the Taxpayer Advocate answered: Why does IRS processing take so long?

By Mike Giangrande, J.D., LL.M.

Federal Tax Editor

So…the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate service has published an online interactive map of the IRS’s internal operations. And holy cow! This mall map from hell looks like it comes from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the 2005 remake starring Martin Freeman, not the actual book). To help you visualize, I’ve included a small version of the map here. For the full experience, the map can be found here:

The Taxpayer Advocate is really not doing the IRS any favors, considering snarky individuals (like me) who may (fairly or unfairly) seek to compare IRS employees to Vogons, who are described by the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as:

Not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders – signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.

Well, if that doesn’t provide a description of what this map looks like, as well as this practitioner’s personal experience trying to call or paper-file anything with the IRS, then I don’t know what does!

TGIF Mozzarella sticks bag

Make sure to set a repeated reminder about this upcoming event

Diane Fuller

Contributing Editor

If you’re close to Los Angeles on February 16, whatever you do, don’t forget to set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself of the “first of its kind” public auction for property seized during cannabis enforcement actions.1 So kewl!

The auction is being held by the CDTFA and will feature items seized from search warrants to collect taxes from nine illegal cannabis businesses and one legal dispensary that didn’t pay their taxes. According to the CDTFA, 10 Los Angeles-based operations owe in excess of $14.4 million in unpaid taxes, and the CDTFA has seized almost $90 million in cash and products from businesses.2 Mind blown!

Prospective bidders should check out some of the paraphernalia:

  • Cash drawers
  • Glass bongs and pipes
  • Snow cone machine
  • Crowd control poles
  • Menu boards
  • Sandwich boards
  • Display cases
  • Refrigerators
  • Win spin prize drop
  • Money counting machine/bags
  • Cameras
  • Conveyor belts

I will personally be bidding on the conveyor belt and the snow cone machine. The snow cone machine gives new meaning to the idea of “deliverables” – maybe it was the most fanciful execution of delivered edibles. Bruh!

And who wouldn’t want a conveyor belt?! All I can think of is Lucy and Ethel in front of a conveyor belt popping candy into their mouths because they can’t keep up with the speed of what’s happening.3 Except in 2024, the candy would be replaced with edibles. Sick!

Bidding starts at 10 a.m., so don’t be late. Bring cash, money orders, or cashier’s checks. See you there … unless it rains, or it’s too cold because it’s below 75º, or something else comes up.

Super Bowl 2024: chicken wings vs. avocados

Kathryn Zdan, EA

Editorial Director

The 2024 Super Bowl champion is almost in the books, and while the main event will captivate every San Franciscan and Swiftie, the rest of us are there for the food.

This year, fans are expected to consume:1

  • 50 million cases of beer;
  • 28 million pounds of chips; and
  • 54 million avocados.

In preparation for the Big Game, avocado harvesting begins in January in Michoacan and Jalisco, Mexico, in order to move the volumes of avocados required for gameday guacamole.

According to the USDA’s weekly perishable produce report,2 81% of all avocados eaten in the U.S. come from Mexico and the Super Bowl accounts for 20% of annual sales of avocados. The report noted, “When it comes to increased sales, avocados are the real Super Bowl champion.”

But the true winner is the chicken wing. According to the National Chicken Council, Americans will consume 1.45 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday.3 To put that number in perspective:

  • 1.45 billion wings is enough for every man, woman, and child in the United States to eat four wings each;
  • If Kansas City Coach Andy Reid ate 50 wings every day, it would take him 79,452 years to eat all 1.45 billion;
  • 1.45 billion wings is enough to put 693 wings on every seat in all 30 NFL stadiums;
  • If laid end-to-end, 1.45 billion wings would stretch one third of the way to the moon; and
  • If each wing represented one second moving forward, 1.45 billion would be 46 years from now, or the year 2070.

Time to buy stock in wet naps.

Tax snax

Last week, we asked what your go-to tax season treats are, and the results are in:

  • Smarties
  • Almond Joy
  • Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
  • Red Vines
  • Microwave popcorn… burnt, of course

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 around his backyard smoker, working in his garage, or sipping lemonade at either a baseball or soccer game for this three children.

Kathryn Zdan, EA

Kathryn Zdan, EA, spends her non-Spidell hours on photography and watching horror films (and then sleeping with the light on). She also enjoys hiking, biking, and watching foreign films.

Diane Fuller

Diane 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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