Home » BLOGGERS

Category Archives: BLOGGERS

Is Stripping An Art Form or An Obscenity – Kelly Phillips Erb Explains The Tax Connection

Is stripping an art form

Is stripping an art form

By Stacie Kitts CPA

These days I rarely have time to do anything that doesn’t directly involve running my accounting firm.  But Kelly – also known as the TaxGirl ® penned an  article that caught my eye Strip Club Doesn’t Meet  “Bare Minimum” in Court.  Punny huh?!

In fact, it so entertained me that I had to change gears to tell you about it.  I admit it, even I think tax is a dry subject for a blog.  But there is that rare story that entertains.

The fundamental question posed in Kelly’s post – Is exotic dancing an art form?

It turns out that in the state of New York, since 1965, sales taxes are imposed on the fees paid by patrons at strip clubs. However, Nite Moves, an adult club in Latham, New York, begs to differ with the state’s interpretation of adult and exotic dances. The club was audited in 2005 by the New York Division of Taxation and told to remit nearly $125,000 in unpaid sales tax – plus interest – for fees paid for door charges and private dances (if you have Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” song in your head now, you’re not the only one). But Nite Moves claims that the assessment was in error. They believe that the fees paid should be exempt from sales tax and appealed.

In its argument, Nite Moves cited Tax Law § 1105 (f)(1) which exempts:

Any admission charge … except  charges  for  admission  to  race  tracks,  boxing,  sparring or wrestling matches or exhibitions which charges are taxed under any other law of this state, or dramatic or musical  arts  performances,  or  live  circus performances, or motion picture theaters, and except charges to a  patron  for  admission to, or use of, facilities for sporting activities  in which such patron is to be a participant, such as bowling alleys  and  swimming pools.

(Emphasis added)

In other words, they believe that fees for lap dances should be exempt just as fees for the ballet.

The court ultimately disagreed.  They concluded that the club didn’t provide enough evidence that would prove that the “private dances offered in the club were choreographed performances.”  The club simply didn’t successfully sell the court on their argument that stripping is an art form.

I don’t know, swinging around on a pole – upside down secured by a single limb – plus, some of those girls are really bendy and have some pretty impressive acrobatic skills.  (What?  I’ve seen Striptease – you know with Demi Moore) Seems to me that there is some skill involved, some artistic expression…and shall I say it, even some talent.   I think, yes, I think I might have been able to sell that in court….but that’s just me.

Stacie’s More Tax Tips Makes a Top Something or Other List

By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

Seems like I am always reading someones top something… tax/accounting/business  list and it always makes me wonder – just how does someone get on this list anyway?????

Like for example take  Accounting Today/Tomorrow/WebCPA.  This group publishes a top 100 most influential people in the accounting industry list.  Every year I read it over and wonder –  how do they decide who is “most influential” anyway?  I mean really, is this a scientific thing?  Are there compliance criteria – like a PPC guide “How to Determine the Most Influential People in Accounting” – we are talking about accountants here – I assume there’s a checklist?

I do hope its more scientific than just a bunch of journalists sitting around a conference table, sipping coffee and munching on donuts while someone writes names on a white board.   Just picture it, a bunch of bored staff writers some twisting slightly in their chairs, some lounging about, others lazily calling out names.  Then someone says, “hey cross off Sally Johnson, she was rude to me at blah blah conference. she doesn’t make it this year.” Yowser,I hope it doesn’t work like that!!!

Recently, I’ve been contacted by a “.com site” or two.  These sites were letting me know that I could be listed on a top something list….so –be sure to mention it at Stacie’s More Tax Tips- wont you?

While I get how this whole quid pro quo thingy works, I have declined 100% of the “link to us, we’ll link to you” offers.  I’ve even turned down click for payment offers because I didn’t think the link topics where appropriate for my my site.

But you know what, I’ve decided that gosh darn my blog is interesting.. And yes siree, I deserve to be on a top anything list.. And, it has absolutely nothing to do with quid pro quo.  Nope, they of course see the genius that is my blog and feel compelled to share. So thanks to bschool.com for naming Stacie’s More Tax Tips in the 50 best Blogs to Get You Through Tax Season.

Oh by the way, the picture is of me and the grandbaby enjoying Christmas day with the family!

2010 in Review – The Health of Stacie’s More Tax Tips – I Feel Like Doing The Snoopy Dance!

I think the stats presented below provide interesting insight into my blog, so I thought – what – the – heck – why not share.

so let’s  see –  25,000 visitors (like I said see below) may seem like a drop in the bucket to tax bloggers the likes of the Tax Prof, but you know what – I am absolutely thrilled!  I have 117 Facebook fan’s and a whole bunch of subscribers.  I am turning cartwheels (well in my head) at this very moment.

Other exciting things have happened this last year as well (which unfortunately have affected my ability to post as much as I would like – but you can’t have everything :-)).

I have a new partnership, Katherman Kitts & Co. LLP – the offices are located in a high-rise across from the Irvine Spectrum (a huge shopping center) – so the fact that I have moved my stay home tax practice to an actual office doesn’t suck!

I am having the time of my life finding just the right staff and of course decorating the office space.

How do you know when you have finally “made” it?  Well, my litmus test – the flat screen tv and lovely sofa enhancing the awesome view from my corner office.  *heavy sigh*

I truly wish the same level of success and happiness for all my family, friends, clients and loyal readers this coming year.

Now I think this calls for a Snoopy Dance, care to join me?

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how my blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2010.

In 2010, there were 181 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 464 posts.

The busiest day of the year was December 9th with 709 views. The most popular post that day was Watch Out Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act is A Federal Provision. Does Your State Comply?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were tax-debtrelief.com , facebook.com, Google Reader, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for 990 instructions, form 990 instructions, form 8941, debt forgiveness act, and mortgage debt forgiveness act.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Watch Out Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act is A Federal Provision. Does Your State Comply? March 2010

2

About Stacie’s More Tax Tips December 2009
2 comments

3

IRS Patrol: Form 990 Schedules and Instructions for filing in 2010-11 February 2010

4

Outline of Health Care Act – Tax Provisions of HR 3590 March 2010

5

Seven Things Your Accountant Should Have Told You – a Good Post From the Past January 2010
3 comments

Are You All a Twitter About Tax News? Now You Can Follow The IRS @IRSnews

By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

Oh Yippee, the IRS has joined the Twitter fray.  The social media storm has engulfed the treasury.

But maybe – do you think – someone might have given Timmy Geithner a copy of  Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms by Michelle Golden also named by Accounting Tomorrow as one of the top 100 most influential people in the accounting industry today.

Who knows – this book is on my Christmas list anyway!

The Internal Revenue Service is using Twitter and other social media tools to share information with taxpayers and the tax professional community.

The IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, provides the latest federal tax news and information for taxpayers. The focus of the IRS Twitter messages will be on easy-to-use information, including tax tips, tax law changes, and important IRS programs such as e-file, the Earned Income Tax Credit and “Where’s My Refund.” Anyone with a Twitter account can follow @IRSnews by going to http://twitter.com/IRSnews

Another important IRS Twitter feed, @IRStaxpros, is designed for the tax professional community. Follow @IRStaxpros by going to http://twitter.com/IRStaxpros.

The IRS also tweets tax news and information in Spanish at @IRSenEspanol. Follow this Twitter feed by going to http://twitter.com/IRSenEspanol.

The IRS Twitter feeds will work in conjunction with http://www.irs.gov and the IRS YouTube channels to bring IRS information direct to taxpayers. Since August of 2009, there have been more than 1 million views of videos on the IRSvideos ( http://www.youtube.com/irsvideo), IRS Multilingual (http://www.youtube.com/user/IRSvideosmultilingua) and IRS American Sign Language (ASL) ( http://www.youtube.com/IRSvideosASL) channels.

In addition to Twitter and YouTube, the IRS provides additional social media tools to inform and assist taxpayers.

Snubbed Again! And a Sincere Apology

By Stacie Clifford Kitts CPA

I don’t get it. I didn’t make Accounting Today’s top 100 most influential people a-g-a-i-n. I mean, they don’t appear to think that my stay home tax practice or my quirky blog posts are influential enough to name. But I guess I should have been tipped off when I wasn’t contacted to supply a cute pic or provide a snappy bio.

*Heavy sigh* I guess there is always next year….

This year’s list includes many predictable faces. It also includes some fun new ones. Some of which I include in my list of Facebook friends.

Michelle Golden of Golden Practices makes this year’s list. Yeah Michelle. Michelle is the lady you want to know if you are looking for some social networking techniques that will benefit your CPA firm.

Geni Greer Whitehouse also makes the list – Geni is an expert in accounting technology and shares this with her accounting clients through her consulting services.

Other influential women listed are:

  • Teresa Mackintosh,  General Manager and Senior Vice President, Workflow & Service solutions, Americas – Professional, Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. (Good job, but might I suggest that you think about shortening up that title – what a mouthful!)
  • Krista McMasters, CEO Clifton, Gunderson
  • Gale Crosley, Present of Crosley &+Co.
  • Cindy Fornelli, Executive director, Center for Audit Quality
  • Rita Keller, President Keller Advisors
  • Judy O’Dell, Chair FASB Private Companies Financial Reporting Committee
  • Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate IRS
  • Rebecca Ryan, Founder Next Generation Consulting
  • Mary Schapiro, Chair SEC
  • Sue Swenson, President, and CEO Sage North America
  • Jennifer Warawa, Senior director of partner programs Sage North America
  • Sandra Wiley, Partner, senior consultant and COO, Boomer Consulting
  • Jennifer Wilson Co-founder and owner, Convergence Coaching

My personal congratulations to all the professionals who made this year’s list.

On another note – Dear Geni – I screwed up.

Geni Greer Whitehouse provided me a copy of her fabulous book How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting so I could post an interview on my blog. To date I haven’t sent her any questions – this does not speak well for my follow through skills. Which really are good – I swear – or I wouldn’t have the client base that I have?

Regardless, I owe Geni an apology so let’s make it public –

Dear Geni

I want to send you my sincere apologies for failing to send you the list of questions for the interview. You may notice that I have ordered another copy of your book. This is because the initial copy that you so gracefully sent was “barrowed” by a client. It was apparently so helpful that I never saw it again. I will get those questions over to you. I found your book to be quite helpful. It played a key role in helping me to win a best speaker ribbon.

So there it is my lame excuse. If there was any good to come from my failure, it was what I learned  1) never lend out a book before I’m done with it, 2) don’t forgot – branding is important but consider the time investment and follow through necessary to pull off your strategy.

She’s a Neurotic Heathen Slut with a Cinderella Complex, I’m a Bitter, Divorced, Wine Drinking Man Hater – But Do You Have A Life Plan B?

Dear loyal readers, I have been so extraordinarily busy that I have fallen behind on my posting.  So I’ve decided to rerun some of my favorite old ones.  Enjoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You see – As a CPA and advisor, my mind works a little differently.

For instance, when I hear from friends news like – “we’re having a baby” or “I’m getting married”, before any form of congratulations escapes my mouth, I am already thinking, tax plan, cash flow, and life plans A and B [you know – do you have a plan B in case plan A doesn’t work out – can we all say prenup’].

Now I suppose this is an excellent trait for your tax advisor or even your lawyer, but I’m thinking maybe not so much for your friend.

Case in point.

Not too long ago I found a book written by an old friend who I had met in college. We had palled around off and on for several years following graduation but had lost touch over the years.

As I settled down to read what she had written, I couldn’t help thinking about how we had met.

I was sitting in a statistics class at a local community college waiting patiently for the class to begin and entertaining myself by watching the students that were timidly walking into the room and quickly finding seats near the door.

I noticed her right away, maybe because she seemed more self-assured than the others did. At first, I even thought she might be the instructor who appeared to be running late.

She stopped in the doorway and assessed the seating situation. Then she walked across the room passing several rows of desks while she cocked her head and smiled over her shoulder.

That’s funny I thought, she reminds me of a beauty contestant flirting with the judges as she walks across the stage.

Before she reached the last row, she spotted a desk that suited her and made her way up the aisle where I was sitting. Then with a slight flourish, she stopped at the desk in front of me, plopped down in the seat and flipped her long blond hair out of her face with the back of her hand where it landed in a messy pile on the top of my desk.

Hmmm that WAS memorable.

Now let’s see – back to the book. The Break-up Diet

I noticed that it had a cute cover, a table of contents and what’s this – a page of acknowledgements. Let’s see what she says here, “My greatest appreciation goes out to”….blah blah blah, my agent, some others, and Michelle somebody – “for being my best friend and chief secret-keeper since seventh grade, and for never suggesting that I come up with a Plan B.”

Urgh. Huh. Ouch. What? Could that be directed at – ME.

That did seem to be my M.O. I looked up from the page and began to think, I do remember – yes – there was a conversation. But – but a Plan B was a completely appropriate suggestion given the situation and her explanation of Plan A. Wasn’t it?

Your plan is what? I asked as my eyebrows rose slowly up my forehead. Did I hear that right? She was going to continue her career as a “professional” dancer [not the good kind] while she wrote the next great American novel and then retired on some tropical island. That – was Plan A.

Now as I have said, my brain works a little differently from maybe an aspiring writer, because I was thinking, ummm doesn’t “professional dancing” [not the good kind] have a shelf life, and considering all the aspiring writers out there, aren’t the chances of being a rich novelist pretty remote?

So being a good advisor, but maybe not such a supportive friend, I suggested that she think of other ways to make a living as a writer, maybe writing for a newspaper, or magazine, or even freelancing. Yep, I’m pretty darn sure I used the term Plan B.

Well, here it was in my hand, her novel [a memoir] maybe not the next great American, but not bad either.

I continued reading on, and the more I read, the more I realized that not only am I portrayed in her book, but I am also a bitter, divorced, wine drinking man hater. Note to my husband – I love you honey – that was long before I met you.

But in all fairness, she recently sent me a note jokingly describing herself as neurotic heathen slut with a Cinderella Complex so I guess we all had our issues.

Funny enough, it does appear that she has happily stumbled onto her Plan B even if she doesn’t realize it. She got married, she co-owns an online magazine directed toward women writers, she is a professional industry speaker and she teaches online classes. All perfectly acceptable, and might I say all within my suggested Plan B’s.

Ping Your Way To a Successful Social Marketing Strategy – It’s A Whole Lot Better Than Being an A-Hole

By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about a company in the tax industry that appeared to be getting some bad advice on how to conduct a successful social marketing campaign. I discovered this unfortunate strategy when the company spammed the comment section of one of my blog posts. Flabbergasted Reputable Tax Service Company acting like an A-Hole

Jumping head first into a social marketing strategy without first understanding how the game is played is likely to tick off the players or at the very least, your company will have a bad social showing. As with all business strategy’s, you really need to make sure you hire advisors that know what they are doing. For goodness sake, people DO YOUR RESEARCH. For the CPA industry there are people who specialize in helping you with your social strategy – Michelle Golden of Golden Practices is one such advisor.

Which brings me to pinging your way to success. Yesterday I was barraged with “pingbacks” on my blog site.  A pingback is simply a notification that someone is linking to my site.  Wikipedia defines pingback this way:

A pingback is one of three types of linkbacks, methods for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to, or referring to their articles. Some weblog software, such as Movable Type, Serendipity, WordPress and Telligent Community, support automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published.

Now in WordPress, my blog host, I also have the option of posting the URL of the blogger linking to my post in the comment section of my blog.   It’s kind of like a handy built in quid pro quo for you saying nice stuff and linking to my blog. I in turn allow a link back to yours. Neat! And might I say an appropriate use of the comment section of my blog.

Curious about what all the links were about, I instantly clicked over to read what was being said about my blog.  I discovered that they were coming from a company that I assume got  some good advice on how to promote their social networking strategy,  Tax Resolution University. And let me say, if theirs isn’t a planned strategy, it certainly should be.

I was pleased to read the praise for Stacie’s More Tax Tips offered by blog author Michael Rozbruch at Tax Resolution. His writing shows that he actually read and appreciated the content of my blog. He spent the time to identify elements that he liked and continued on to make great comments in his post  Tax Help and Tips from Tax Blogger Includes Refreshing and Candid Look at Issues Facing Today’s Taxpayers here’s some tid bits:

From why she thinks American Express sucks to the true story of a magazine door-to-door sales person who encountered nightmarish tax consequences from her self employment status, Stacie’s unique take is both entertaining and enlightening.

Stacie’s More Tax Tips provides a wide and eclectic mix of tax information. The blog is well organized and quite informative – taxpayers can find excellently categorized information concerning tax, accounting and business advice, mixed in with quirky commentary. The blog offers information published by the IRS, such as IRS Patrol and IRS Presents, news releases and tax tips.

Other great content featured on the blog includes interviews with interesting individuals who put a new spin on everything tax, book reviews, Education Credits, Tax Guidance (need any help filing out those numerous tax forms?), coaching, and types of tax explained. You can even check out Abigail’s story of sex, drugs, and taxes for a bit of jolting tax reading.

While these comments are well thought-out and flattering –  heck they make me feel all good inside, more importantly they are a good social networking strategy. Because of this well written post, the Tax Resolution Blog will show up under, the blogs I like category on Stacie’s More Tax tips. And I will allow the ping backs all like eight of them – some quid pro quo.

And just as a side note  – Well-done Tax Resolution, your blog campaign tells me that you are a good strategist. This is a wonderful quality to have when you are in the business of resolving tax controversies. I am a fan!

%d bloggers like this: