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Saturday, August 9, 2014
The Wandering Tax Pro's 9/11 Tribute
Originally Published on forbes.com on September 10th,2011
September 11, 2011
If there was an award for the most colorful tax blogger, I have little doubt that the trophy would go to Robert Flach – The Wandering Tax Pro. He has atax preparation practice in Jersey City. He took it over from a fellow who groomed him for it, but he has never taken on a protege himself. He does returns by hand, scorning the expensive and unreliable software the rest of us use. For a couple of months in the winter and early spring he works 168 hours a week (slight exaggeration there for rhetorical effect). Joe Kristan,a CPA like myself (A class of people sometimes on The Pro’s dislike list), characterizes the Flach version of tax season as a “death march”.
I grew up in Fairview NJ. Every time I visit the area, where I still have relatives, I am aggravated by the incomplete skyline across the Hudson. The Pro has his office in Jersey City and I bet he hurls the occasional imprecation about it when he is not busy railing about the idiots in Congress who make a mucking fess out of the tax law, reality TV and the GD extensions that prevent him from spending all his time outside of tax season blogging and going to musicals. His particular 9/11 memorial is touching, at least to someone who has been inside the sausage factory of manual return preparation.
Bob had a client that always came in on the last day, April 15th to April 18th (depending on weekends and holdays). His arrival signalled the end of tax season. One year he came in on April 10 and was told to leave and come back on the appropriate last day. It is not unusual for many of us to have absurd tax season rituals. That one is a little over the top, but we are talking about The Wandering Tax Pro here. Here is the last thing that Bob’s client ever did:
A Port Authority officer for 16 years, Maurice “Moe” Barry, 48, was assigned to the PATH commuter train system. The resident of Rutherford, NJ, upon hearing the reports of the terrorist attacks, was one of the first on scene when he rushed from Jersey City to Lower Manhattan and then into the North Tower to help in the rescue efforts. As thousands fled the searing flames and smoke of the Towers, Officer Barry was attempting to reach trapped and frightened workers on the upper floors. The last time he was seen, he was on his way to the higher floors to get people out.
Just like the firefighters in the song:
Since then, in honor of Officer Barry, The Pro ends tax season a day early.
Why Did I Write About This ?
Even though we are exempt from having a connection to tax today, I’m still a tax blogger. I wanted to get another guest post from The Pro himself on this, but his computer has diarrhea. The Geek squad told him he should buy a new one, but he is putting that off. I was almost silly enough to ask him how he is getting his GD extensions done without a computer until I remembered that, in his world, computers are for blogging, not preparing returns.