Tax Season Tribune

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The tax man cometh, and the therapist is right behind

Kathryn Zdan, EA

Editorial Director

Filing season can be hard on everyone, tax pros and taxpayers alike. But a recent poll by Cash App Taxes revealed that 25% of Gen Z taxpayers said they get so stressed during filing season, they need a therapist.1 Further, 54% of that same group said that filing taxes has brought them to tears in past years or they expect it will this year.

This could open up a new advertising avenue for tax professionals: “No-More-Tears Tax Prep.”

(If Cash App Taxes sounds familiar to you, they were the ones involved in the logo dispute with H&R Block, which we covered in the March 5, 2023, issue of Spidell’s Tax Season Tribune.2)

AB 984 to the rescue

In an attempt to bolster the financial literacy of young people leaving high school, California’s AB 984 would require a one-semester course in economics that would include content in personal finance as a requirement to graduate.

According to the bill’s authors, “AB 984 guarantees access to a personal finance course to all high school students, instilling them with the skills and support they will need throughout their lives.” Problem solved.

Except the bill analysis admits that there have been numerous past attempts to mandate personal finance instruction in high school, but research into whether this instruction is actually effective has mixed results.3 Specifically:

“One author concludes that, ‘We have long noted with dismay that students who take a high school course in personal finance tend to do no better on our exam than those who do not. This finding has been a great disappointment to consumer educators and to those who support efforts to make courses in personal finance a requirement for high school graduation, and it points to the need for better materials and teacher training.’ (Mandell, 2006).”

Until personal finance finds its way into the curriculum, filing season might be a boon to therapists. And taxpayers will want to refer to the IRS’s FAQs to see whether those therapy costs are deductible medical expenses. But more on that next week.


Judge tosses tree thrower’s disability case

By Austin Lewis

Managing Editor

You win some, you lose some. An Irish woman lost out on a payout worth more than $800,000 in U.S. dollars in an injury lawsuit after the judge dismissed her claim earlier this year because she won a tree-throwing competition just months after her supposed injury.

Kamila Grabska claimed that a 2017 car accident left her with pain in her back, neck, and spine, and she filed an insurance lawsuit in 2022 claiming she was unable to work for the previous five years.1

In court proceedings in Limerick,2 she was questioned about a photo published by a local newspaper the year after her injury that showed her heaving a Christmas tree through the air.3 Grabska said in court that she was only trying to “live a normal life.” Other evidence presented included video of her playing with a dog for up to an hour and a half.

Judge Carmel Stewart described the tree-throwing photo as “very graphic,” and dismissed Grabska’s lawsuit, saying “I’m afraid I cannot but conclude the claims were entirely exaggerated.”

As this tax season is winding down, here’s hoping you haven’t had to deal with a questionable return that may feel entirely exaggerated in its own way. After all, you can only trust a troublesome client as far as you can throw him, which is good news — unless, of course, you’re in Ireland and that client is a tree.

Which words have been banned this year? Wait for it...

In a past Tribune issue, we covered the Banished Words List, which is released annually by Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The 2024 list contains the following words:

  • Hack
  • Impact
  • At the end of the day
  • Rizz
  • Slay
  • Iconic
  • Cringe-worthy
  • Obsessed
  • Side hustle
  • Wait for it

You can read about the selection committee’s reasoning at

The Banished Words List is not the only fun tradition held by LSSU. In 1971, a faculty member started the Unicorn Hunters club. The club disbanded when he retired in 1987, but you can still get a unicorn hunting license through the university’s Department of Natural Unicorns.

The university also welcomes spring to the Upper Peninsula each year by burning a 10- to 12-foot paper snowman at high noon on the first day of spring.

A few fun facts about this week’s writers:

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.

Austin Lewis

Austin Lewis loves music and the outdoors, and if he’s not going to a concert you can probably find him on a hike somewhere. Recently, he traveled to Peru, where he spent seven days on the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.

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