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June 10, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

My correspondents make me jealous

I traded emails earlier this morning with a tax lawyer friend who happens to be in Istanbul right now.  This is the view from his balcony.  I am deeply jealous.


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November 7, 2015 - Phil Hodgen

New Mailing List – CalCPA International Tax Events

There is a new mailing list on our page, started today:  the CalCPA International Tax Events list.

The purpose of the list is to increase the number of people who attend the CalCPA International Tax Conference. I am the chair of that conference. We had a great event yesterday in San Francisco — our best yet in terms of quality of presentations.  Great attendance, and a great mixer after the event.  Free alcohol!  Heh.

(Hint:  come next year and attend in person, or watch on the web if you cannot).

The list will provide information about upcoming CalCPA events — live events, webcasts, etc.... continue reading

May 8, 2015 - Phil Hodgen

Live Now. Procrastinate Later

Seen yesterday in a classroom at Cathedral High School in downtown Los Angeles. Happy Friday.... continue reading

April 10, 2015 - Phil Hodgen

W. Edwards Deming knows where the problem lies

The IRS whines mightily about Americans abroad and how they are not filing FBARs or doing all of the other myriad of things that the system requires.

W. Edwards Deming had a thing or two to say about situations like this. In Out of the Crisis (1982), page 315 we find this little gem:

“I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this: 94% belongs to the system (responsibility of management), 6% special.”

By “special” he means the people within the system (employees) or external factors.

If we apply this logic to the tax system:

  • 94% of the compliance failures can be blamed on the managers of the system itself, and
  • 6% of the compliance failures can be blamed on the humans who are required to follow the system.
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March 16, 2015 - Phil Hodgen

Pack Light, Go Fast (Seat 19A)

Everything in a 20 liter backpack for a trip to Toronto. Also, Neil Young is on this flight to Toronto. #totalfanboy... continue reading