Francetic Tax Resolution - September 2019

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My Mentor in the Tax Trade

I first met Dave Schwartz in 1999 when I was just starting to learn the tools of the tax trade at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. He was a guest lecturer there — Professor Schwartz to me — and when I walked into his Tax 101 class that fall, I had no idea it would change my life for good. Right from the start, Dave was an excellent teacher. He had instant credibility with the students because he had his own tax preparation business at that time. But what really had an impact on me was his partnership with the university and the IRS on a program called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Through VITA, Dave and a team of student volunteers prepared tax returns free for people with low incomes, people with disabilities, the elderly, and others who had difficulty doing them alone. As soon as I heard about the program, I put my name on the volunteer list. Along with the other volunteers, I was dispatched to the Kenosha Public Library for three-hour shifts on Saturday mornings and two days during the week. While we were there, our tax know-how was available to anyone who came through the doors. They could sit with us one-on-one and ask questions while we completed their tax returns by hand with pen and paper. We graduated to using laptop computers in future years. Dave was there supervising us the whole time, available to answer any questions we might have had during the preparation process. I thought it was an awesome program because it gave students like me an opportunity to get firsthand experience with tax preparation, work on interview skills, and practice building client

process because he did not have a Ph.D. The university brought in a Ph.D. with no practical experience in taxation. I stayed in touch with a couple students after this happened, and they were extremely disappointed with the change, especially because the VITA program was put on hold. Dave works out of his home just like I do. He provided me with invaluable experience when I started my own tax and accounting business back in 2004. During the first several years of my business, I helped Dave prepare tax returns for his diverse client base a couple times a week during the tax season. I could call him any time, day or night, to bounce a problem or question I had off of him, and he could do the same with me. It has been really cool to have that back- and-forth and level of trust with someone else in the business. Over the years, Dave gradually pared down his clients and passed a number of them on to me. After over 30 years in the business, he’s now semi-retired and only does tax returns for family and close friends. I just dropped in a few weeks ago to visit Dave and his wife Terry at their home in Whitefish Bay and met their 8-week-old Goldendoodle puppy named Stella. I’m always happy to talk to Dave, and I know I’ll treasure him as a mentor for the rest of my career — and as a friend for the rest of my life.

relationships, all while helping people in need. Usually, that kind of experience is hard to come by until you leave school because accounting interns are typically relegated to bookkeeping work and preparing financial statements. I signed up for the next year after my Tax 201 class and helped Dave coordinate the program for two years after I graduated.

Paul Francetic

Unfortunately, the university had to let Dave go after it went through a reaccreditation





According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, upward of 40% of people aged 55 and older are continuing to work past the normal retirement age. There are a number of reasons why people are choosing to stay employed, with one of the biggest being a lack of retirement funds, but some are also using work to keep their minds and skills sharp. In fact, most of the jobs that the 55-plus crowd goes after keep them engaged with the community and help them lead more active lives.

These seven jobs are projected to grow between 8–14% over the next six years according to BLS data. They often pay well and don’t always require a full-time commitment. Many even offer flexible schedules, which can help older workers spend more time with peers or loved ones. This balance is exactly what many older workers are looking for, especially those who are “part-time retired.” More importantly, however, most older workers find these jobs fulfilling. They allow older folks to interact with the community and stay active, both of which, research suggests, are essential to healthy living as people age. For many, working past retirement, or not leaving the workforce entirely, can be a win-win- win: It’s a win for your bank account, a win for your health, and a win for the community. Crystal bad advice over several years about how to deal with the tax assessed by the audit. I advised Crystal to call the Taxpayer Advocate to see if they could help with the poor representation she was receiving from the law firm. Thankfully, the Taxpayer Advocate was able to get the IRS to reopen the audit. I worked with the new IRS auditor to get all the legitimate expenses accepted that were rejected by the original auditor. I managed to get the entire $108,000 assessment wiped out and the IRS actually ended up owing On-Site a $4,000 refund!! I currently prepare monthly financial statements for On-site, and I also file its fiscal year corporate tax returns. I always have a great experience when I work with the staff during our monthly meetings in their office. Reviewers rave about the company, too. On Facebook, Sunrise Flooring wrote, “I have used their services and couldn’t be happier!” and Andy Castona chimed in with, “Great service; great staff!” An FTR Success Story

The BLS categorized the jobs many older workers are currently pursuing:

• •

Real estate appraisers/assessors

Property/real estate/community association managers

• • • • •

Technical writers

Tax preparers

Construction/building inspectors

Crossing guards



On-site Staffing Services is a family-owned and operated employment placement agency taking a hands-on approach to creating a skilled workforce in the greater Milwaukee area. As a fully accredited women and minority-owned business, On-site values the need for diversity in the workplace and takes pride in fostering client relationships. Whether you are looking for temporary, seasonal employees or need to fill permanent positions, their knowledgeable team is able to supply staffing resources on short notice and with no hidden costs or extra fees. I acquired On-site’s accounting and tax preparation business back in 2014 when I took over servicing the clients of a local retiring CPA. In the spring of 2018, I helped the company’s owner, Crystal Kent, get out of a big IRS mess. On-site’s 2009, 2010, and 2011 corporate tax returns were audited by the IRS in 2012. Unfortunately, a high-priced law firm in Milwaukee had botched the audit, leaving On-site with a $108,000 bill to pay. The law firm was giving





I’ve been talking about the differences between the IRS and the state of Wisconsin on my Saturday morning radio show when it comes to tax collection. Even if you’ve heard this tip, though, it bears repeating: If you have a tax problem with both the IRS and the state, always, always, pay your state taxes first. A couple factors make leaving the IRS for last the smart path. First, the state of Wisconsin’s interest rate on outstanding tax debt is 18%. That’s more than three times the IRS interest rate, which was 6% in the first two quarters and is sitting at 5% for the third. Assuming the current rate holds steady, that works out to an IRS interest rate of about 5.5% per year on tax debt. You can see that with such a steep difference, it’s smart to pay the state first. Another factor to consider is the length of the statute of limitations on collection for each entity. The IRS statute of limitations is 10 years, but the state of Wisconsin doesn’t have a statute of limitations. Theoretically, that means it can collect on your tax debt until you die or even after that if you leave assets behind. By paying the state first, you might be able to work out an agreement with the IRS that will count your payment to the state as a monthly expense, similar to your rent/mortgage, car, and health insurance payments. If those combined payments are high enough, the IRS might deem you “Currently Non Collectible” and put your debt on hold. Keep it up for long enough, and you can let the IRS statute of limitations work in your favor, getting a significant amount of your debt waived. You might also qualify for an Offer in Compromise or Partial Pay Installment Agreement with the IRS by paying the state first. As they remind me every time I talk to them on the phone, the state of Wisconsin is well aware of their differences with the IRS when it comes to collection!


What do you do when apples are in season but you don’t have time to make a pie? You opt for a crisp, of course.


Filling: •

Topping: •

5 lbs Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

• • • •

• • • •

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp lemon juice

6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped



1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, mix all filling ingredients together. Transfer to individual serving ramekins. 3. In a different mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Mix

in butter until it forms lumps roughly the size of a pea, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over filling. 4. Bake for 35–40 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes, and serve.

Inspired by Food Network






1 2 Meet Dave Schwartz Why Are So Many People Deciding Not to Retire? Client Spotlight: On-site Staffing Services FTR Tax Tip of the Month: Always Pay Your State Taxes First Classic Apple Crisp Honoring the Canines of 9/11 INSIDE 3

Listen to Paul Saturday Mornings 7 a.m. on AM channel 1050 WLIP or stream online at!



In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found

deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up. Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: .



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