April 21, 2013

Every year the change in seasons gives us hope and promise of the changes to come, summer leads to fall, fall leads to winter and winter’s thaw leads to, for me as an accountant, the end of the Income tax season.  Which brings us to the season of renewal and fresh starts…spring.  I have talked to many people during this time of year and I chose to look at spring not solely as a seasonal change but as an acronym for the issues affecting the lives either directly or indirectly of our citizenry. Based on discussions with both clients and fellow tax professionals, here are some of those issues…..S.P.R.I.N.G.

S  Sequestration – Yes our government’s response to their own inability to compromise on a fiscal policy. No one I have spoken to, Democrat, Independent or Republican has any real clear understanding of this process. It is widely agreed that it never had to come to this.

President Obama – No one I have spoken with lacked an opinion about him, he is either doing a credible job under great political opposition or he and his administration are leading us to the economic and social decay of the nation (it was good to be open minded during these discussions).

Republican Party – Doomed political group out of touch with the public or a consolidated conservative effort to offset the progressive agenda engulfing the nation…this continues to be a compeling aspect of American politics provingonce  again that we are a unique country.

I  Immigration – There is no greater cause for the partisan divide we suffer from today than the moral obligation we apply to reforming this policy. No one who can claim to be a United States citizen should dismiss the need to have meaningful legislation and address bringing the millions of people now living in this country without legal status out of the shadows.

N  Newtown, Ct.– Beyond the horrific nature of this truly senseless act of violence, it opened the debate in this country on what and who we are as a nation. Gun related crime both in our cities and suburbs of our nation has made this a moral and social imperative.

Gun Control – This issue has galvanized two distinct factions, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other pro-gun groups versus the Brady Group, Michael Bloomberg and other gun control groups. Ultimately one side is winning the public opinion while the other seems to be winning the legislative battle. The goal here should be to make our society safer without impacting our constution’s second amendment rights. The struggle continues…

This spring, our emphasis should be on addressing all of these issues with a real desire to resolve them and even if we agree to disagree, that in of itself would be progress toward compromise. We still have time on our side but the summer looms and as the days and the debates heat up, hopefully the rancor and rhetoric will not. Tax season is over and spring is here, so we can still hope that our April showers will bring May flowers….PPF



February 1, 2013

Due to the recent legislation signed into law by President Obama, the Internal Revenue Service has set the start of the 2012 Income tax filing season for January 30, 2013. Normally, filing for the previous year’s liabilities is January 15.

The reason for the delay is simple, refunds cannot be made to eligible taxpayers until the Treasury department is properly funded, and this is why the “Fiscal Cliff” became such a hot button issue. If the Treasury is unable to make good on payments due its creditors then, well, financial armageddon would have ensued. Yes Washington, DC politics at its finest!

Now to the issue at hand.

We Americans, both domestic and abroad, treat this annual ritual with an equal amount of anticipation

and disdain…you know its coming but why do you need to participate?

As  a tax accountant I welcome this time of year with open arms and a little trepidation.  The questions are always the same…’Will I get a refund and how much?’ , ’ Do I owe and why?’ , and of course ‘what can I do to make next year’s return better?’. Often times I’m able to provide plausible answers or explanations that put my clients at ease (So far no murders or suicides).

Inexplicably, I find that most taxpayers expect a refund, and anything short of a lottery win is treated as a disappointment. Of course when I point out that the ‘refund’ is merely an interest free return on their investment as a responsible taxpayer they shrug. (Alas, this fact is often lost on my audience).  Then of course there is the often painful and tedious discussion of those unsatisfied liabilities that result in taxes due. (Suffice to say the reactions range from anger, dismay, shock and /or tacit acceptance of the obvious).

The refund crowd almost always files early in the hopes of using their new found ‘lottery winnings’ to pay for things they wanted, wished for or obtained previously on credit. The tax due group often procrastinates, delaying the event by often waiting until the filing deadline or requesting an extension (Maybe to allow time for the shock to sink in).

In the end we all have to reconcile some basics of life here in America; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet there is no mention in our Constitution or the Bill of Rights about the inevitability of taxes… oh yeah and death, which may be brought on by tax evasion and the resulting penalties involved.

As any of the patrons of my services will attest to, since my signature is on it my motto has always been to properly prepare and file your return in accordance with the law, because I do not look good in an orange jumpsuit!!!.

Happy Filing…PPF


Gabriel Come Blow Your Horn

January 22, 2013

And so it begins…

The inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America brings a sense of renewal, confirmation and purpose for its citizens and the world to witness. Yet this seems much more than pageantry to me. In the speech he gave following his oath of office, this man chose to rise above the daily pathos of federal governance, such as it is, to speak to the challenges facing the country and the world at this point in time…and of the prophecy yet to be fulfilled. In the words he used as he addressed those before him, he challenged all to a higher calling…. the road ahead.

In the Old Testament of the Bible is the story of Gabriel, the angel of messaging, who trumpeted God’s call to all of mankind by spreading the gospel of Daniel. This archangel has been historically portrayed in film and literature as the avenging angel sent by God to lead mankind to a better place in the good grace of the divine. If anything is true of the person who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it is his faith in God; he is our leader, he has chosen to lead and has asked us to follow.

‘We the People’ is really the fabric that binds us as a nation. He said “our journey is not over”, that we must together confront the challenges that lay before us, Climate Control, the Economy, Education, Immigration, Gun Control, Healthcare, Poverty, the Social Safety Net, and of course Foreign Affairs. We as a free people must commit to better our nation and our world for today, tomorrow and the unseen future.

Yes we hear you Gabriel and we know your words are a clarion call from a higher authority than you. And yes while we may agree to disagree with the message, we cannot dispute the messenger…

..’We the People’ can look forward to the next four years and all its challenges and know that Gabriel’s trumpet is the sound of the messenger, Barack Hussein Obama.

God Bless America…PPF


Demography – a more perfect union

December 30, 2012

We have all been directly affected by the events of this year’s Presidential election; commercial ads conventions, debates, campaign speeches and voter related matters(fraud, registration and turnout). And while the vast array of issues that impact the country’s electorate were discussed to varying degrees, there is one topic that fascinates me… demography— how our country has been defined as voting blocks.

If this country’s populace is segmented into pre-designated polling groups then is it possible that we are creating an artificial identity process?  Do we not begin a Orwellian approach to governance with grave implications? Before I render an opinion, here are a few facts.

1)      The election yielded demographic data based on age, education, financial status, race, religion, and social relationships.

2)      The country’s legislation passed or approved  into law over the last couple of election cycles  has revolved around citizen identification and voter rights.

3)       Women’s health issues and publicly funded access to healthcare dominated the daily media airwaves and print.

4)       The economy and its impact on the United States and the world face a peril both real and perceived (the fiscal cliff).

To my mind ‘we the people’ best describes how our fellow Americans see themselves; not as separate parts of a dysfunctional society but as an array of persons in a socio-economic compact that defines our union, the United States of America.

Now with the election over and this compact defined but still so fragile, can we overcome what divides us to address the challenges before us, climate control, the economy, drugs, guns, immigration, poverty, social change, and our seemingly endless wars.

My hope is to move forward with provocative discussion of these issues, not in a winter of discontent  or summer madness  but with the sense of renewal that the seasons bring, in this world our dreams will come true and our achievements will shine, as I quote from a famous tagline,  ‘What’s your opinion, we’d like to know’…..PPF.



Welcome to Purple Public Forum

October 2, 2012

The facts are required for all issues discussed here as I desire to engage my audience with discourse that is civil in nature. In this space, left and right, red and blue meet in the center….Purple Public Forum.

The goal is to present the facts on a subject or topic of the day and offer my opinion to open the discussion.  I hope my opinions allow spirited responses as I welcome the opportunity to discuss or debate them.

There is nor will there be a subject or topic that is taboo.  I believe in free speech and the world is a better place when we learn to share our views.  This forum will allow us to talk constructively to one another. I look forward to the challenge….