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December 2, 2022

Accounting News Roundup: Deductible Meals and Threatening the IRS | 07.12.17

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Sports

Over the last couple weeks, there have been several stories about the Boston Bruins winning a tax court case that ruled that the team can fully deduct the cost of meals when they’re on the road as a “de minimis fringe benefit.” If you’ve read some of these articles and have space for one more, I recommend this one by Shaun Terrill at Bloomberg BNA. The whole post is catnip for tax nerds, and includes lines like this one:

Since when has it been ok to circumvent nondiscrimination rules because you are looking to cut costs?

And:

Is the reduction of gastric problems for the benefit of the opposing team?

As well as:

Maybe it just comes down to the fact that the Tax Court really likes the Bruins?

And my personal favorite:

Oh, hello Mr. Zdeno Chara, please do try the foie gras, it’s especially nutritious and energizing, and the ducks were plucked from the finest farms in Provence. Shall we order a gluten free variety for the next game?

Zdeno Chara eating foie gras. For those who know hockey, that’s quite an image to consider.

Elsewhere in the wide world of sports and taxes: IRS lien shows Floyd Mayweather owes $22.2M on 2015 taxes

Easter eggs

If you’re an accountant and part of your job is to comb through endless transactions looking for untoward activity, sometimes you get rewarded with moments like this:

[J]urors heard from an accountant hired by the government to review bank records for Retrophin and [Martin] Shkreli’s hedge funds.

During Wendy Spaulding’s testimony, she said records showed Shkreli, a hip-hop aficionado, used his pharmaceutical company’s account to pay $10,000 for a JAY-Z concert in 2012. Spaulding noted the purchase Tuesday as she waded through a heap of bank records showing the spikes and dives in Shkreli’s hedge funds and Retrophin.

All in a day’s work, I suppose.

Don’t do this

Normand Lariviere of Olympia, Wash. has been aggrieved about being “laid off in the 1990s from his position as a civilian defense contractor.” So he decided to mail some things to the IRS to voice his displeasure:

Lariviere’s 2016 mailings included a joint, a bullet and, most worryingly, his own severed finger, the special agent said in charging papers. Contacted by investigators, the agent continued, Lariviere “admitted severing his finger and showed agents the homemade device he utilized to perform that action.”

Gah. Not only that, but Lariviere also sent “a package containing a 6-inch metal pipe made to resemble a bomb” that included a photo of himself. When he was questioned by authorities, Lariviere said, “Many things I could do. I’m not going to say. … I’m not going to tip my hand.”

I don’t think Normand appreciates the irony in that statement.

Elsewhere in bad decisions: Ex-Anheuser-Busch CEO had loaded guns, 8 dogs and prescription pills in chopper, police say

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Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about BDO’s new partners. In Open Items, someone asks: Do CFOs need a MAcc or MBA?

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