Manly Men Doing Manly Things in a Manly Way

Back in the early 80s, a group of Democratic legislators decided to room together to cut the cost of staying in Washington for the three nights or so per week that Congress is in session. The motley crew included Representative George Miller of California (owner of the blue-gray house in Southeast DC), Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer, future Defense Secretary and CIA chief Leon Panetta, and others. We can only imagine whose phone numbers they posted on the refrigerator in a house like that. Pizza delivery? Of course! Liquor guy? Oh yeah. Exterminator? Maybe not a bad idea .
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IRS Scuttles Tax Breaks for Pirate Victims

Do Pirates Still Exist? It’s 1715 in the Caribbean and the Golden Age of Piracy is at its peak. The War of Spanish Succession is over, and thousands of privateers are left without gainful employment. From bases hidden away in the Bahamas, buccaneers like “Calico” Jack Rackham, “Black Sam” Bellamy, and “Black Bart” Roberts gather those sailors under new commands to terrorize the seas. (Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, ties burning fuses into his hair to look more fearsome.) While there are never more than a few thousand pirates active at any given time, their legend will live on
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Guaranteed Winners

Vegas Not The Only State Where Bettors Could Gamble On Sports  On May 14, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act that had made Las Vegas the only state where bettors could gamble on college and professional sports. (Sorry, wrestling fans, no betting for you. Spoiler alert — the matches are fixed.) Imagine how much louder your neighborhood sports pub will get when the obnoxious drunk at the end of the bar who won’t stop jabbering about his fantasy team is actually putting his money where his mouth is! Dozens of states are expected to
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She Did It!

Early on Saturday morning, 29 million Americans woke up to take a break from school shootings, Russian collusion, and partisan gridlock to watch a California woman achieve a rare fantasy. The woman in question watched the sun rise as plain old Meghan Markle. But by the time it had set, she had become Her Royal Highness Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. (When she’s in Scotland, she’s the Countess of Dumbarton. In Ireland, she’s the first Baroness of Kilkeel. What did your grandmother-in-law give you on your wedding day?)   Lots of Americans grow up wanting to become a princess. Some of
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Have You Taxed a Ford Lately?

Losing Production Time Impacts Company Profits But Also Millions In Tax On May 2, fire broke out at the Meridian Magnesium Products of America plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. The factory supplies components to Audi, BMW, Daimler, Fiat, GM, Tesla, Jaguar and Mercedes. But their most important product may be the die-cut radiator “front bolster” supports in Ford’s F-150 pickup. Workers pressure-feed molten magnesium into a mold, then rapidly cool it like Jell-O. And Meridian is the only factory that does it. No bolster, no truck. The fire has forced Ford to shut down production of the truck completely while
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Free Agent Scores Spicy Signing Bonus

Corporations Can Play “Free Agent”, Too Baseball is back in swing, and several teams have already made it clear that they won’t be contending for playoff berths. The Cincinnati Reds are leading that sorry pack, the first team to lose 20 games in the season. But the Orioles, White Sox, and Rangers are all nipping at their heels. If any of them are serious about winning this year, it might be time to take a look at signing some free agents. Find an unhappy veteran, steal him away with a big salary and signing bonus, and maybe you’ll be at
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No Business Like Shvo Business

He Dodged More than $1 Million in Taxes The lights of Broadway have long shone bright as the show business capital of the United States. (Hollywood may have the movies, but it’s just not the same. And Vegas? Puh-leaze.) New York theatres attract millions of visitors and billions of dollars every year. Naturally, sharp New Yorkers have co-opted show business tactics to promote all sorts of unrelated businesses. So now, we have fashion-as-theatre, restaurants-as-theatre, and even real-estate-as-theatre. Michael Shvo may be the most theatrical real estate guy of all. He started out as a brash Manhattan broker, squiring buyers in
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Inventing Tax Records

How Long Should You Keep Tax Records? Tax Day 2018 has come and gone. Have you cleaned up the mess from the celebration? Has your hangover faded into memory? Now all that’s left is to box up those records and store them somewhere safe, for . . . how long? Storing tax records is lots of fun, said no one ever, but it is important. The IRS says you should generally keep your records for three years from the date you file your return, or indefinitely if you file a fraudulent return. Having said that, some tax records have lasted
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Quit Your Whining

Over $1 Billion in Taxes Deferred Because of Loophole  By all rights, “Tax Day” ought to be one of our favorite holidays, like “Christmas in April” without the carols, the hype, or the eggnog. That’s because eighty percent of us get refunds, averaging $2,782 each in 2017. (When was the last time Santa Clause left three grand in your stocking?) Of course, that means 20% of us are writing checks to the IRS. And if you’re among that 20%, we sympathize. We know it hurts. But we’re confident it does’t hurt nearly as much for you as it does for
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Such a Bore

Not all tax professionals are boring!  Everyone has a mental picture of what a tax professional or accountant looks like. Probably pretty boring, right? Dull. Predictable. Not quite smart enough to do useful work, like engineering. Definitely not slick enough for sales. Probably balding and paunchy, bleary-eyed from too many late nights at the office typing numbers into boxes on government forms. But that’s not always the case . . . so let’s take a look at a couple of fun stories that shatter that stereotype. First, Dorothy Steel. Dorothy spent decades working as a senior revenue officer for the
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