What would Tony Soprano do?
Sometimes tax preparation can involve some off-the-books negotiation, as Don Meyer of the New Jersey Society of CPAs relates.
"The manager and family member of a famous entertainer recommended the purchase of a $2 million building for office and production space, confident that it would be a $2 million write-off for tax purposes that same year," Meyer says. "When the manager found out the truth -- that it would take over 30 years to recover the expense -- the manager was upset, embarrassed and agitated.
"At one point in the drama, a suitcase with a very significant amount of cash appeared as incentive for the accountants to somehow 'make it work.' The suitcase full of money was refused and the extravagant claim never made it onto the tax return -- at least not the one the accountants prepared before they resigned the account!"