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IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman Puts Tax Preparers’ Job Security Concerns to Rest

“Perhaps the most telling indicator of taxpayer confusion over the code’s complexity is that today, 90% of individual taxpayers pay for professional tax preparation or tax software to prepare their tax returns. IRS research estimates that, over the past 10 years, the burden for the typical taxpayer has increased by about 20% and would likely be even more if they had to prepare returns themselves without any aids or tools. Moreover, we estimate individual taxpayers and businesses spend more than 7 [billion] hours each year complying with filing requirements.” [Tax-News via Tax Foundation]

Kvetching About the Complexity of the Income Tax Is Nearly a Century-old Tradition

Joseph Thorndike writes over at that bitching about the burdensome nature of income tax is as old-fashioned as plutocrats wearing top hats.

In 1915, Chicago lawyer Charles H. Hamill of Rosenthal & Hamill made headlines with some vigorous complaints about the new income tax, then less than two years old. The law, he said, was “the worst piece of legislative draftsmanship I have ever seen placed upon a statute book anywhere.” Indeed, it was very nearly incomprehensible:

“It is so complicated that it is utterly impossible to understand its meaning save by consulting a palmist.”

So as you can see, things haven’t really changed. To this day, whether you’re paying a lawyer, CPA or palm reader for your time, you walk out more confused than when you walked in and you definitely don’t feel like you got your money’s worth.

Think Taxes are Too Complicated? They Thought So in 1915, Too []

BREAKING: Accountants Work Long Hours, Get Stressed During Tax Season

Not only that but another shocking revelation is that they use caffeine to help them pull through this tough stretch.

They work 60-hour weeks this time of year, relying on pots of strong coffee and late-night dinners to help them calculate an endless swirl of numbers. Accountants are working feverishly to meet the deadline to file their clients’ tax returns this year even though they have extra time to do so.

Also, this just in – things get stressful because taxes are complicated:

The late nights can get intense, according to Carolyn Dolci, a tax partner in the Hackensack office of EisnerAmper. “It is busier than last year, partly because of the complexity of the tax code,” she said.

If you’re experiencing this phenomenon in your office, tell us your story in the comments below. Things will remain fluid for a few more weeks; we’ll keep you updated with any developments.

Accountants burning the candles at both ends [Star-Ledger]

Could KPMG’s Improved Revenue Mean More Omaha Steaks for Employees?

Yes, that’s a question for the group. But first, we should mention that despite the glaring lack of exclamation points, you can’t help but think that T Fly is running around 345 Park (or wherever he puts his feet up these days – is he in A/dam?) high-fiving everyone that crosses his path about the slight uptick in this year’s results:

AMSTERDAM, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — KPMG, the global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, today announced member firm combined revenues totaling US$20.63 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, versus US$20.11 billion for the prior fiscal year, representing a 2.6 percent increase in U.S. dollars; a 0.1 percent increase in local currency terms.

“These combined FY10 revenues overall reflect positive and improving business performance across the KPMG network of firms and functional businesses worldwide,” said Timothy P. Flynn, Chairman of KPMG International.

“This improvement underscores the strength of our brand and that, in a significantly changing economic and regulatory environment, clients and stakeholders value how the high-performing people of KPMG are cutting through complexity, delivering informed perspectives and clear solutions to them,” he said.

And if it wasn’t for Google – GOOGLE! – the House of Klynveld would be the idealist employer on the globe!

Flynn added, “KPMG was pleased to be honored by Universum, the global talent consultant, this year for its ability to attract the very best people. Universum announced that students worldwide ranked the KPMG network globally second, behind only Google, as an ‘ideal’ employer. This is strong affirmation of our priority to making KPMG a magnet for talent and a place where people can maximize their potential.

“The caliber of talent is a true differentiator among professional services firms in the global marketplace, and KPMG member firms worldwide will continue to invest in their people in the year ahead, attracting the best and most diverse talent. Our growth plans call for us to recruit approximately 250,000 people over the next five years,” Flynn said.

Whether “recruit approximately 250,000 people over the next five years” actually translates to putting asses in the cubicles, will remain another matter since every firm on Earth claims to ratcheting the hiring up a notch. Anyway, feel free to discuss whatever you like related to the Radio Station revenue results, including the likelihood of more bovine flesh in your future.

Extreme Big 4 Makeover: KPMG Edition

Yesterday we told you about Extreme Big 4 Makeover: PwC Edition. Today we’ve learned that KPMG is getting into the act, although the House of Klynveld had the sense to avoid changing their team colors to match the autumnal palette (Braddock says it reminds him of Pizza Hut).

But more on colors later. We feel that the motivation for the rebranding is likely twofold: 1) They got wind of PwC sexing themselves up and 2) They’re pissed about Dick Bové playing dumb and they’re trying to get the old girl’s attention.

Naturally, it makes the Masters Champ who, after coming of his video extravaganza on Phil Mickelson’s KPMG website, is appearing in this ad in Golf Magazine (or so we’re told, we don’t have a subscription):

Phil m Golf World

In addition to His Leftness being included in the campaign (reminiscent of T. Dubs with Accenture) apparently the firm took out an ad in today’s Financial Times that rocks their new slogan, Cutting Through Complexity™:


Last but not least, the firm rolled out this internal Brand Book that tells you everything you don’t want to know about the rebranding including the firm’s commitment to it’s favorite hue, ” To bring our brand to life we have a refreshed visual identity and tone of voice which reinforces the essence of our brand. It builds on our current brand equity and the strong ownership we have of the color blue, while placing greater emphasis on the warmth of our wider color palette.”


One of sources already weighed in saying, “I’m so excited about the opportunities that will be generated by these HUGE changes I don’t know how I will contain myself.” We invite you to share your own thoughts on blue, Phil or whatever you think about KPMG’s new do.