Tax stuff I think is interesting. It is either copied from my primary blog on forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/ or stuff that I did not put there because being on forbes is a good gig and they have, you know, standards. Also some guest posts.
Monday, August 11, 2014
A "Century" on forbes.com - Ellen Degeneres Can You Hear Me Now?
Originally Published on forbes.com on September 15th,2011
I appreciate that blogging about your own blog must represent the height of self-absorption, but I hope you will forgive me. This is my 100th post on forbes.com and I am positively giddy. I started blogging on tax issues in December 2009. My first post was a meditation on the tax implications of slaughtering monsters to earn gold in World of Warcraft. I’ve gotten a little more serious since then, but I do revert from time to time, like when I figured out a way to work in a picture of Jennifer Aniston not being naked. My posts are largely driven by the raw material that the system feeds me. I try to at least look at every original source item on federal taxes, a practice that I have had for many years. The only person I know personally with a similar obsession is Lu Gauthier, whose Boston Tax Institute provides the best accounting CPE value in New England. He looks for items that are of practical use to his students, mostly local and regional practitioners. I look for those too, but also things that are funny like somebody who tries to get exempt status for a not for profit to distribute his own sperm.
I sometimes notice things that are largely overlooked. When that happens I end up with a new issue that I feel responsible for covering. The issues are starting to accumulate at too rapid a rate, so I won’t list them now. I’m only going to mention one, which is the source of my greatest blogging success fantasy. It has eluded me up to now and this may be my last shot at manifesting it. Although I started my first blog Passive Activities and Other Oxymorons in December 2009, I did not get going in earnest till June 2010, when my firm started a sabbatical program for partners. My son and I went on a cross country road trip and I started blogging in earnest. One of the earliest posts was on a chief counsel advice (CCA 201021050) which had not attracted very much notice – then. My post was titledWindfall for “Unmarried” Couples. The CCA indicated that California Registered Domestic Partners – RDPs- should split their income when filing returns – that is each should report half of their own and half of their partner’s income. Since then I have felt responsible for the tax implications of marriage equality and marriage inequality. On that particular issue, my perspective is very practical including a post titled Just Because They Won’t Let You Do It Doesn’t Make it a Good Idea.
My attachment to the issue is so strong that it was the subject of my first post on forbes.com, New York Marriage Equality- Tax Implications. The fantasy about it was formed very early. I wrote the Windfall post while I was on a road trip that was scheduled to include about a week stay in Manhattan Beach (That’s near LA, not the Bronx.) My fantasy was that I would get a call from Ellen Degeneres, since the CCA applied not only to RDP’s but also to the 18,000 or so legally married same sex couples in California and Ellen is half of one such couple.
The call never came. I kept on the issue. One of my posts on the importance of watching the statute of limitations for amending returns was picked up by Bay Windows New England’s largest GLBT newspaper. The call still didn’t come. I thought the recognition by Bay Windows justified my going public with my obsession so I wrote something titled PAOO Makes Bay Windows – Next Stop Ellen. It included a quote from my fellow Son of Xavier, Antonin Scalia, which indicated that if it is unconstitutional to jail people for sodomy, we may as well go all the way and allow gay marriage. I’m dying to hear what he is going to say when one of the DOMA cases works its way up to the Supremes. Still no word from Ellen.
Frankly there is someone who deserves the invitation more than I do.Patricia Cain maintains the Santa Clara Law Same Sex Tax Law Blog. The blog follows the issues very thoroughly and in the sober and serious manner that it merits. If you are interested in the tax issues of same sex couples, you should definitely follow her blog in addition to mine. There are only two reasons why Ms. Degeneres should consider me over Professor Cain. First, although I can’t say how we compare in person, my blog is funnier than Professor Cain’s. Second, I’m the one who is asking.