Wild and crazy tax deductions 2013 edition

Try Cousin Vinny 2 doors down
Try Cousin Vinny 2 doors down © Sergey Furtaev/

In some parts of New Jersey, it helps to know a guy who knows a guy. But in the tiny rural community of Somerset, CPA Brian D. Levine was shocked and a bit offended to be mistaken for a connected guy.

"I had a potential client come into my office; he had a manufacturing facility and was in the middle of an IRS audit," Levine recalls. "I looked over his records and examined the issues and told him I could take him on as a client."

Then, as he often does with prospective clients, Levine asked what it was about his practice that had captured the businessman's eye.

"Well, I see your name is Brian Levine," the guy says. "The IRS auditor is named Mrs. Levine. I was hoping you were related."

Levine didn't miss a beat.

"I assured him we are not related and that if we were, I could not take him as a client, as that would break conflict-of-interest ethical rules," Levine says. "He hired our firm anyway."


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