Archive for the "The Happy Accountant" Category

BHB Advisors LLC, CPAs and Consultants


Based in Minnesota, BHB Advisors, LLC is a full service tax and accounting practice, offering the following services:

  1. Tax – planning and compliance work for individuals, corporations and partnerships
  2. Accounting Services and Financial Statements
  3. Consulting and Management Advisory Services

Our mission is to communicate, collaborate and cooperate with our clients to help get them where they want to be financially.

Our specialty is working with individuals and small to midsize companies in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area.

We hope that our website will offer you a glimpse of our expertise and help answer tax and accounting questions you may have.

Congratulations to Mathew and Leah Koch!

Our newest staff member has celebrated a huge life event! On Saturday January 7th 2017, Matthew tied the knot with college sweetheart Leah Miller.  BHB was very honored to be able to celebrate this occasion with the happy couple. We wish a lifetime of joy and adventure to Mr. and Mrs. Koch.


Olympic Medalists & Taxes

US athletes who win medals in Rio may have to pay income tax on their prize winnings as well as the value of their medals.  The International Olympic Committee pays medalists $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.  This is included in the athletes' income for tax purposes.  The value of the medal itself is also taxable income under current law.  That could all change soon.  The Senate has passed a bill that will exempt these winnings from income tax.  The House will vote on it in September when they return from their current break.  Bills like this have been brought up in the past but have never made it into law.

Most athletes  may not actually pay any income tax on these winnings, even under current law.  They are allowed deductions for ordinary and necessary expenses if they treat their participation in their sport as a business.  Even as a hobby, they can take deductions against the winnings to reduce income tax on them.

For now, we will have to stay tuned for the final decision.


2014 Tax Season Resources

Welcome to another tax season!  To make this busy time a little easier, you can download all the necessary documents right here.

We ask all of our clients to fill out and return a signed Engagement Letter, and Questionnaire. We also have an Organizer that you can fill out to help gather your tax information.

Engagement Letter

Questionnaire  – This is a “fill in” PDF form, but will need to be either printed to .pdf or paper to record your answers.


If we did your return in 2013, you will receive an Organizer with your prior year information.  If you need a new Organizer, please contact Carrie to have one sent to you.


If you are a new client, please download and complete the blank Organizer that pertains to your situation.


  • Basic – For taxpayers without Schedule C business income or rental property.
  • Business Income – For taxpayers with self-employment income. Please make sure to fill out this Organizer AND the Basic Organizer.
  • Rental Income – For taxpayers with rental properties. Please make sure to fill out this Organizer AND the Basic Organizer.
  • Complete – This is the complete version for taxpayers with multiple activities such as business, rental, or farm income.

If you have Adobe Acrobat see our instructions  for filling out your organizer in Adobe.

Tax Day in the style of Dr. Seuss

One of the bloggers I follow, Kelly Phillips Erb, decided to honor Dr. Seuss with this little tax related spoof of Oh, the Places You'll Go!  I enjoyed it and I hope you will too!


Today is Tax Day,
You're off to do taxes!
You're off and away!

You have forms in your hand.
You've digits in your head.
You can hire someone
Or do your own forms instead.

If you're on your own, you know what you know.
And YOU are the taxpayer who'll decide where things go.

You'll look over the forms. Look 'em over with care.
About some lines you'll say, "That doesn't go there."
With your hands full of forms, and your head full of digits,
you're too smart to worry about phase-ins and limits.

And you may not find any
way to bring your tax down.
In that case, of course,
you'll stop screwing around.

You've not the time to burn
Figuring out that silly return.

Because those things can happen
and frequently do
to taxpayers with income
and deductions like you.

And when things don't make sense,
don't worry. Don't pout.
Keep plugging away.
You'll figure it out.


You've got your 1040s!
And your W-2s!
You've got 1098s!
And 1099-Qs.

You won't get frustrated, because you'll call a tax pro.
You'll figure it out with someone in the know.

Wherever you go, you'll hire the best of the best.
Whoever you hire, they will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Mistakes
and Headaches
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
with some terrible issues.
You'll pull out your hair.
And you'll sob into tissues.

A notice may follow
saying you're in a jam.
And the chances are, then,
you're subject to exam.

And when you're at audit,
you're not in for much fun.
Surviving an audit
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the rooms are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're dark.
A place that scares you more than you've ever been!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you should go in, should you knock on the door?
or wait in the queue? And fear being ignored?
Or march right on up to the front of the line?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a confused taxpayer to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start to race
down long-windy hallways at a break-necking pace
and hurry down corridors with lots of bland space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The IRS…
…for people just waiting.

Waiting for agents to figure out,
that you did your best, without a doubt,
Waiting for them to stop the drought
of not answering the phone through and throughout
or waiting to find out what it's all about
or waiting simply to go all-out.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the latest forms to appear
or waiting for the bill you'll fear
or waiting to finally get the all clear
or waiting, perhaps, for refund news,
or a cure for a massive case of the blues,
or to open the mail, or pick up the phone
or fill in a detail, or a deadline that was blown.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find some relief
you'll stop all the graying.

Oh, the tax forms you'll know!

There are returns to be done!
There are refunds to spend. There are audits to be won.
And all of the great things you can do with that cash
(though interest rates won't earn you a stash
Spend! You'll stimulate the economy,
along with Misters Buffett, Gates and Romney.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll have to pay taxes too.
Audits you lost and
Lack of withholding from you.

All those bills!
Whether you like it or not.
Bills will be something
you'll have quite a lot.

And when you have tax bills, there's a very good chance
you'll hear things that will scare you right out of your pants.
There are some frightful agents who'll say things on the phone,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
facing forms 433.
On you will go
Filing your OIC.
On you will go
to tax advocacy.
You'll figure out
an installment agreement,
making payments for taxes
at times mutually convenient.

On and on you will pay.
And I know you'll pay bunches
and face up to your tax bills
without pulling those punches.

You'll get mixed up of course,
when the Regs are so-so,
You'll get mixed up,
with so many statutes to know.
So be sure when you file.
File with care on the right day
and remember the Tax Code
Won't go away.
Just never forget to postmark your return.
Or e-file and postage is not your concern.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will indeed!
(Though acceptance of your return cannot be guaranteed!)


be your name Shulman or Lew or Tax Mama,
or President Barack H. Obama
you're off to do taxes!
Today is your day!
The IRS is waiting.
So… get on your way.

BHB Advisors is now on Facebook!

Now there's another way to stay in touch with BHB Advisors.  Like our page to get the latest links to articles written on our website or to share our company with your family and friends!


Accountants are "Hot" commodities

Well, since the summer is starting to wind down I think we need just a little bit more fun.  One of the many accounting blogs I read linked to an eHarmony article titled 15 Reasons to Date an Accountant. Here is the list….

Here are 15 reasons to date an accountant:

1. Need to calculate a tip? Your date thinks numbers are fun.

2. Accountants are exceptional decision-makers.

3. They’re ethical. Accountants abide by strict accounting standards. If you like playing by the rules, an accountant might be your perfect match.

4. They’re also good at finding loopholes. Accountants know the rules so well, they can make them work for you.

5. Brains are beautiful.

6. Accountants are always learning and updating their knowledge base.

7. Accountants are not afraid of commitment. (They stuck with accounting, right?)

8. They’ve got moves like Jagger. Literally. Mick Jagger was once a student of accountancy. So was Janet Jackson.

9. They’ll take the fear out of money matters. Date an accountant, and there’s no need to fear being audited.

10. You’ll have tax-season help.

11. Accountants are both teachers and stress-relievers, helping other people make sense of confusing rules and terms.

12. If “financially responsible” is on your must-have list, look no further.

13. Got a secret? Accountants are trustworthy, reliable and can handle confidential information.

14. You’ll receive free financial advice from someone you know has your best interests at heart.

15. Accountants are up for a challenge.

Whether or not we agree with this list, (i.e. I hope my husband didn't marry me for my tip calculating abilities…) it brought a smile to me and hopefully to you.


A child's perspective on taxes

While doing research for another post I stumbled across an article written by Forbes contributor, Kelly Erb (TaxGirl). She asked her 11 year old daughter what she thought of taxes and received the following response:

What I think of taxes
by Kate Erb

Taxes are very important to us – why? Taxes pay for schools, roads, the government, et cetera. All of those are important. Schools need money to pay teachers who need to buy stuff like food. They also buy school supplies kids need to get a good education. Roads provide access to places we need to get to, but they need money for the materials and their workers. The government need to pay employees and to run our country.

What I think about taxes is that though we have to pay a lot of money that we need to pay for food and clothing other people also need the money. Like with the budget cut schools don't have enough money. I moved away from a school that was forced to do unpleasant things from lack of money. All the kids were unhappy and a lot of kids didn't want to go to school anymore. They need more money!

Taxes also pay for electricity and water. Without the money they can't produce electricity and water so they tax you. If you don't pay they stop providing electricity. Some people don't understand others need the same things that you need and they get they money through taxes. But the taxers sometimes don't get some people don't have enough money to pay taxes right away. Think. Tax day. Some people can't get the payment in one day, like the people poorer than you. Why not tax week or tax month?

Imagine this: there are no taxes, and you are a teacher. You don't have enough supplies for the students at school and you can't pay for your own children's necessities. Not enough food or water. If there were no taxes, you would be somewhat like that. Now imagine someone is hurt and you can't pay to help them. Maybe it's your child or husband or sibling. Do you want to find yourself in this situation? Absolutely not. We need taxes.

Now do you see why taxes are important? Some people might laugh, but you could actually die. With no money you have no food, and when you have no food you die. We need taxes. Help a person and pay the taxes to get people money. Wouldn't you like to get money? Of course!

Agree or disagree with young Ms. Erb, either way it is a refreshing view, and encouraging to think that at least some of the coming generations are already considering the needs of society as a whole. Who knows, we may hear from Ms. Erb in another 15 to 20 years or so.

One year down- a lifetime more to go…

As the year closes a lot of people take a minute to look back on their year, the triumphs and struggles, the joys and sorrows.  For me, 2011 was the first year of my career. After four and a half years of college sandwiching a year off for non-profit work, I finally had my big girl job (as my friends and family liked to say).   I remember coming into work on my first day, throwing my things on my new desk and hitting the ground running into a staff meeting and the beginning of tax season.  As the year progressed, so did my confidence and knowledge under my two fantastic bosses and wonderful co-workers. Each one of them invested time, patience, and compassion to help me to be successful, and will be remembered as I give thanks over turkey and mashed potatoes this Thursday.  We are quickly approaching another tax season and with a year of knowledge, and one section of the CPA Exam successfully completed I look forward to a new set of challenges and triumphs.  Steve Jobs said “the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” 

I agree with Steve.

Accountant Jokes

If you think lawyer jokes are awful just wait until you hear some jokes about accountants…….

“What do you call an accountant without a spreadsheet?”


What’s the definition of an accountant?”

             “Someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand.”

An Accountant after reading nursery rhymes to his young child:

             “No, son. When Little Bo Peep lost her sheep, that wouldn’t be tax deductible. But I like your thinking.”

Why did the Accountant cross the road?
To bore the people on the other side!

 What’s an extroverted accountant?
One who looks at your shoes while he’s talking to you instead of his own.

The Balloonist

A fellow has been learning to be a balloonist and takes his first solo flight. Unfortunately the wind gets up, he is blown off course and is forced to land. He is in a paddock close to a road but has no idea where he is. He sees a car coming along the road and hails it. The driver gets out and the balloonist says, “Can you tell me where I am?’.

“Yes, of course”, says the driver. “You have just landed in your balloon and with this wind you have obviously been blown off course. You are in the on Jim Hubble’s farm, 12.5 miles from Boerne. John will be plowing the paddock next week and sowing wheat. There is a bull in the paddock. It is behind you and about to attack you.”

At that moment the bull reaches the balloonist and tosses him over the fence. Luckily he is unhurt. He gets up, dusts himself off and says to the driver, “I see you’re an accountant”.

“Good Grief”, says the other man, “you’re right. How did you know that?”

“I employ accountants,” says the balloonist. “The information you gave me was detailed, precise and accurate. Most of it was useless and it arrived far too late to be of any help.”

More Tales:

     The accountant read the story of Cinderella to his 4-year-old daughter. The little girl was fascinated by the tale, especially the part where the pumpkin turns into a golden coach. “Daddy,” she asked. “When the pumpkin turned into a golden coach, would that be classed as income or a long-term capital gain?”

     A young accountant fresh out of college is interviewed by the owner of a small business. “I need someone with an accounting degree,” says the man. “But mainly, I’m looking for someone to do my worrying for me. I have lots of things to worry about, but I want someone else to worry about money matters.” “OK,” says the accountant. “How much are you offering?” “You can start at $75,000,” says the owner. “That’s a great salary!” says the young accountant. “How can a business like yours afford to pay so much?” “That,” says the man, “is your first worry.”