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Discussion:Slipping off the deep end

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Slipping off the deep end (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2007
I have a client who thinks the prime minister of canada stole his money and hit him in the head with rock. His paper work is a bunch of hand written notes that contradict each other. I prepared the return as best as I could based on the last few years. He is slipping of the deep end. Any ideas on how to treat a client like this as far as filing a correct return? HE has no relatives. His friends are avoiding him. He has become a hermit. Every conversation leads back to the prime minister!!! After 20 years in the bus this is the toughest one on a personal and business level. Any ideas?

Wwtaxes (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2007
I regret that I have no suggestions, but also have a similar (but not so severe) case. I have a long-time TP that is losing it more and more, is in financial trouble, doesn't really understand most monetary concepts, and calls practically daily (should I file bankruptcy, how do I file bankruptcy, why do I have to pay taxes on my 401K distributions, etc...).

I'm at wits end with her. I feel bad, but I can't keep holding her hand, at least not at this time of year.

Corptaxhelp (talk|edits) said:

March 28, 2007
I'd want to see if your client can produce the rock. If so, I might be inclined to believe the thing about the Prime Minister. I know enough Canadians to know they can be pretty strange at times.

If you think the guy is a danger to himself or others, call the authorities and let them confine him.

On the other hand, if you think he's just harmlessly nuts and a waste of your time, tell him your're worried about your own safety. Tell him you fear the that Prime Minister is going to come after you for associating with him. Tell him you fear for your safety and the safety of your family and that it would be best if you never spoke again. I'm sure he will understand.

Blrgcpa (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2007
Ask him whom he trusts that may be able to help him. He's probably a senior suffering from demetia. Get him to give a poa to someone who can help him.

I've had several clients who suffered from it. One of the first things to go was record keeping and bill paying etc. These were people who were on top of everything and slowly there was a detirioration of skills from one year to the next.

Possibly there is an organization that can help him.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2007
I have a client who has been through two or three of these bouts in her lifetime; she canceled her 4/3/07 appointment with a statement that made little sense. I get her extensions until she comes out of it, or someone helps her do so.

Sandysea (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2007
I have one elderly client (actually another CPA in the area does the returns, I just help him reconcile his quicken accounts)...the man has a Corporation and three partnerships..owns rental properties in one and a MASSIVE amount of investments in a family ptnrshp.

Noone can work with him; it is quite sad....he gets secretaries and he has such severe dementia it is like going to a new office every morning. I do his work monthly...go in and he never remembers me...we spend an hour or so reminding him who I am....

It is sad and at least here in Vero, we have a society for alzheimers/dementia....perhaps you can search for some help for your client :(

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2007
Sounds like he's delusional. I don't think they get better without treatment. It's tough, but unless you think he's seriously underreporting income or something, I think you are doing a professional service by helping him get the return filed. Even if he were audited for something, I don't think it would take IRS long to conclude that he was out of it. No intent, no crime. Document your file that you asked all the appropriate questions. If he keeps calling after the return is done, you got a real hassel until something else catches his attention.

Glmpllc (talk|edits) said:

28 March 2007
...bill hourly for the extra time, questions, handholding, may be surprised how quickly it stops. (talk|edits) said:

29 March 2007
Thanks for the suggestions. I am thinking more along the lines of trying to steer him to someone of some agency. He doesn't belong in jail he belongs on medication. Yesterday he sounded like he was about 5 or 6 years old. I think I may have a mulitple personality here. I have known this guy for thirty years and this change has been in the last year. I wonder if he had a stroke? I don't think he is underreporting or trying to hide income. He has been a successful musician for years. He has published music and is a regognized performer in the Celtic type of music. I guess I will have to find him somebody that can help. Wish me luck.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

March 30, 2007
The 92-year old man I mentioned the other day in another discussion (the one who called a couple of days ago and said he hadn't received any of his year-end statements yet) just dropped off two sacks of all his mail he's received for I don't know how long. One sack would hold it all, but the stack is about 12" high. I just need to find his quarterly tax payments, SS form, three interest statements, one Edward Jones statement, and a land contract (which is held by another one of my clients who is in Florida right now). It's too early for a headache, but I got one when I heard the sacks rattling as he walked down the stairs. I knew exactly who was walking in before I saw who was walking in.

TaxNerd (talk|edits) said:

30 March 2007
There is a bright side to their memory problems. They can hide their own Easter eggs, and they can watch re-runs of their favorite programs and think it's an original program.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

March 30, 2007
I found all the documents! Most of them were in one of the manila envelopes tossed into one of the sacks. He also had 19 sheets of ruled paper, all numbered 1 through 19, 1/2 of those sheets were blank except for the page numbers, and the other half had expenses written down (most of those pages listed expenses that he can't deduct, like medical exp, contributions, prescriptions, car insurance, etc).

Birdman (talk|edits) said:

30 March 2007
Deback - he didn't have a notebook that had "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" written over and over?

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

31 March 2007
Birdman - that's the same line my Dad keeps telling me about working too much!

Seriously - dementia is a horrible thing. I think it's worse on the family than the patient. My mother has it and has gone from being an exceptional business woman running businesses, government committees and non-profits to not knowing how to cook a pork chop or get home from the grocery three blocks away. Thank goodness for Dad.

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

31 March 2007
my father in law had a stroke & dementia - it was like he had a brain of swiss cheese - pieces were there but with missing links, it was hard to decipher a conversation with him, but if you could be patient, you could figure out most of what he was trying to say. try not to let your mind wander, be patient,ask lots of questions, smile & nod and also try to find someone in the community to help him, good luck

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