Tax Season Tribune

up arrow

Reflections on St. Patrick’s Day

By Sandy Weiner, J.D.

Contributing Editor

Growing up in the Chicago area, I’ve always had fond memories of St. Patrick’s Day ... and not all of them relate to the thousands of Irish bars that can be found in the Chicago area.

I remember working in an office that was located on the Chicago River and watching as the city “dyed” the river green for the day. However, to be honest, some years it was hard to tell the pre- and post-dye river apart. 

I also recall watching Jane Byrne, the city’s first female mayor, wearing a long green fur coat for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Although I must confess when I did a Google search to try to find a picture of the coat, all that came up were stories about how she moved into Cabrini Green (one of Chicago’s infamous housing projects) as a way to improve public safety and investment in the area. The woman had chutzpah ... but I digress.

But enough about my memories.  Here are some fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day:1

  • St. Patrick wasn’t Irish (it is said he hailed from Wales or Scotland), although that doesn’t stop Ireland from declaring it a national holiday. Nor was St. Patrick’s name Patrick (he was born Maewyn Succat) and despite the stories, he didn’t banish snakes from Ireland as Ireland didn’t have snakes;
  • 13 million pints of Guiness are consumed on March 17 across the world; and
  • Two million people attend New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

And what’s St. Patrick’s Day without a few Irish jokes (the clean ones)?2

  • How come you can never borrow a few quid from a leprechaun? Because they’re always a little short!
  • What does an Irishman get after eating a load of Italian food? Gaelic breath.
  • How come Irish golfers can’t finish their game on St. Patrick’s Day? Because they refuse to leave the green!

And lastly, one of my favorite Irish sayings:

“May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart and warmed by the smile of the people you love.”

crypto coin

Don’t blame me, it’s A.I.’s fault

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

Federal Tax Editor

It’s the dawn of artificial intelligence (or A.I. for short) and the beginning of the end of actual intelligence. Every industry is experimenting with and developing A.I. tools, but who’s to blame when A.I. screws up?

Recently, Air Canada tried arguing in a court of law that they weren’t liable for their customer service A.I. chatbot giving a customer incorrect information regarding its bereavement travel policies. Thankfully the court didn’t let Air Canada escape liability for its own creation.

But have no fear, there is sure to be endless creative legal arguments in this decade and the next as businesses try to automate and argue that it’s not their fault when their monster fails to deliver as promised. At the very least, it should provide some good reading (for those of us who still can).

How many of us have lamented the lack of decent help and the rise of the growing social media “influencer” army. An entire generation full of people sprinting into stupidity as fast as they can. Well, it won’t be long until skilled work is entirely automated. I am afraid that Mike Judge’s Idiocracy will become a reality, and much faster than the 500 years he predicted it would take.


The last normal filing deadline

Remember April 15? It has gone the way of the 8-track, the VCR, the payphone, the McDLT, cursive, the horse as transportation, long-distance calling charges, bloodletting, smoking in a hospital ... the list goes on.

Since winter storm disaster declarations are the new norm, it’s interesting to note that the last true April 15 filing deadline for many taxpayers, including nearly everyone in California, was the 2019 tax year.

We can feel the breeze from the collective sigh of relief emanating from our readers each time the deadline is postponed. Can Congress just get their act together and either stick to their promise of simplifying the tax code or push out the filing deadline by a month permanently? One can only dream.


Bad tax joke of the week

How many accountants does it take to change a lightbulb? As many as it took last year.

Your tax jokes are better than ours, so please keep them coming! Reply to this e-mail to send us your favorites, and we’ll include them in a future Tribune issue.

A few fun facts about this week’s writers:

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.

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.

Never miss an issue

Did a friend forward this to you? To get on the Tax Season Tribune mailing list, visit and submit your e-mail address. Past issues of the Tax Season Tribune can be accessed through the Tribune Archives.