Discussion:How to post multiple questions that are related?

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Sharon1221 (talk|edits) said:

2 May 2010
Hi everyone. I have encountered a huge mess, and I am going to need a lot of help. An Amish family (multiple returns) began using me this year to prepare their taxes. It’s actually a long story, and I don’t feel like writing a novel right now, but I am trying to figure out the best way to use this forum. I am looking at 5 different sets of returns that need multiple year amendments. While they are not “hard” returns, they are certainly not EZs either. I have multiple Schedule C’s, Schedule E’s, Schedule F’s, K-1’s, 1099’s, a couple of W-2’s, as well as out-of-state wages (on a K-1 no less). Recordkeeping was horrendous and knowledge of taxes ranges from very little to non-existent. All of that is bad enough, but add to the mix the fact that they used a HORRIBLE accountant for the last two years. I don’t usually talk badly about other people, especially those I don’t know, but this guy is appalling.

I always require the previous year’s return for new clients, and will often review it briefly to see if there are any obvious mistakes. I have found and corrected more than a few errors, but never anything like this. He made mistakes yes, quite a few actually. But much worse than that, he fabricated their returns. He made up thousands of dollars in expenses, skipped required forms, overrode fields. The list is extensive. There has been a rumor among some of the Amish, that I have heard many different versions of, which is basically that a certain accountant could get bigger refunds for people. Now I know the source of that rumor. He takes advantage of their trust and lack of knowledge to get away with it. If someone gets a big refund, they’ll tell their friends and family, which means more business. He fees are quadruple mine, so he must really be raking it in.

Anyway, the reason I am posting this is because I need to start sorting through this mess, and I know that I’ll have questions I could use your help with. Normally, I would post a new discussion for each question. However, an idea came to me that maybe I should keep this all in one discussion since the problems will be related. Maybe I could number or name my questions, or something like that. Then for replies, the person answering could reference which number/name they were replying to.

I am not on this site enough to know what would be preferred, and I don’t want to annoy anyone, so thought I’d ask for your opinions. So, what do you think? Should I post each question separately, or keep it all in one discussion so that the related issues can be easily viewed and understood?

I will be busy all day Sunday and most of Monday, but will check your replies when I can. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Trillium (talk|edits) said:

2 May 2010
For related questions, please keep them all together in one discussion and, as you suggested, number or name each unique section.

Otherwise, you run the risk that:

  1. people may skip over the other discussions thinking that they are duplicates, since the set-up is similar
  2. intertwined questions that are separated may get responses from completely different groups of people who didn't see the other part and realize the significance of it, so the responses end up being not actually applicable
  3. questions may start migrating between the various discussions, and you'll never figure out who was answering what.

Thanks for asking.

Taxea (talk|edits) said:

5 May 2010
And please please please turn the accountant/preparer in to the IRS.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

5 May 2010
I think she may be forced to put them out separately. If the original post is too long, then people might skip over it not knowing where to start.

People may see a wall of questions, even if they are separately stated within the post.

Somehow we muddle through around here though.

Newtaxguy (talk|edits) said:

May 5, 2010
Seems to me that the flood of discussions on the subject/subjects of 1099-a, 1099-c, foreclosures, short sales, cancellations of debt, gain/loss on sale of principal residence/rental, form 982 etc., constitute a prime example of "too many discussions". Where to start? Which response refers to which question? Is it worth printing this discussion or that discussion? Haven't I read this one already? Didn't so-and-so say just the opposite on a preceding post?

I'm not sure how this can be addressed, although a common feature of most of these discussions is Dave Fogel's eloquent and lucid participation.

TNTG

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

5 May 2010
Best thing to do is not to address it at all. Let it be.

Sharon come on and drop the bomb on us, we can handle it!

Here's a little music from The Gap Band to cheer us up today: She Dropped a Bomb on Me (Baby).

Featuring the Gap Band.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRadA7074wk&feature=related

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

5 May 2010
Newtaxguy, I agree there are a ton of discussions on the various COD issues, but not that there are too many. Trill and/or Kevin put together an awesome list of the various discussions. I wish I could search that effectively. Having all that discussion is incredibly beneficial and really helps you think through your own problem. Sometimes your own question seems to have just a little tweak different than the other guy's question, making your's unique. Other discussions that are represented here in a really big way are S Corps, Shareholder loans, and S corp medical. It just gives us more information especially for sole practitioners who can't take advantage of the "water cooler discussions" available in bigger firms. If Sharon's questions become to involved, I agree with Crow, she'll probably get better and less confusing responses if she can isolate some of the more intense issues.

Sharon1221 (talk|edits) said:

28 May 2010
Thanks to everyone for answering. Sorry if you thought I disappeared. I have been having a very rough time with personal issues. It has been never-ending, and every time I thought it couldn't get worse, it did. My daughter has a bad back injury and has been in pain, is unable to go to school, is having a hard time getting around, and has difficulty sleeping. Any of you that are parents know how hard it is to see your child in pain and not be able to do anything about it. We have surgery scheduled for Tuesday, and as if things weren’t already bad enough, the insurance company refused to authorize it. The surgeon's office and I just spent the last three days fighting with them, and finally got authorization today. Add that to my own health problems with my hand, knee and back (trying hard to avoid a spinal fusion, but am losing the battle), and other extremely difficult personal situations, and I've nearly been overwhelmed at times. Oh yeah, I have a pile of amended returns to do in addition to these 10.

Two of the five in this family need their returns done in order to get a loan. So, I need to focus on getting these done. I have been trying to get this started for days (I started writing this post days ago too), but something else always comes up. I really don't have time to do these returns, but I have already committed and have no one that I could help me. It's not even about the money. I am doing it more to help them and am not charging very much, especially for the amount of time it will take (and already have spent with them). So, you know what I’ll be doing over the weekend. Jonas seems the most anxious, so I’ll start with him. I will start a new discussion, and put a summary paragraph in the beginning. If the discussion gets too long, I will just start a new one for the next subject or person, and copy the summary over.

I had a whole paragraph typed up on the bad accountant, but I’m not going to post it right now. Maybe later, we’ll see. I did some asking around, and learned a few things. This is too public and I think no one has reported him for fear of repercussions. I need to get through these 10 returns, and then I will ask for advice.

I know that I get too detailed with my explanations, but that’s just how I am. I’ll work on not talking so much. I’m guessing there won’t be a whole lot of people on this site over the weekend, so if you’re going to go enjoy the holiday weekend, as you should, be sure to look for my post when you get back. Hopefully something else doesn’t come up and I can get it going soon. I’m trying to think of a title for the discussion. Any ideas? Amish Paradise doesn’t exactly work…..

Please be patient with me if I ask a stupid question or disappear for a few days at time. You’re a great group of people. Thanks in advance for your help and advice. Have a wonderful weekend :) Sharon

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

28 May 2010
one other option is to break up a long post (like your last one) into sections, especially for questions:

1) first story & question

2) second story & question

3) etc.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

28 May 2010
long posts that are not broken up tend to lose reader interest

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