• Career Center

    92-Year-Old Accountant Shares His Secret to Surviving Busy Season

    By | February 9, 2015

    As you're slogging through yet another busy season, just keep in mind that it could be worse. You could be on your 70th busy season, like Sidney Weiss was up until he retired at the ripe old age of 92.

    A resident of Silver Spring, MD, Sidney Weiss grew up on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Back in his day, he and his pals hanging around on the corner knew what they wanted to do with their lives:

    He wanted to be an accountant. As long as there were taxes, you’d have a job.

    “I wasn’t the only one,” Sidney said. “They all wanted to study accounting, all the guys who hung out on the corner there. The guys that didn’t go to the City College, we thought they were stupid.”

    As for deadbeat liar clients? Forget that. Weiss never had time for them:

    “I had a client who wanted me to deduct some life insurance premiums,” Sidney said. “I said they’re not deductible. He said, ‘That’s because you don’t want to deduct them.’ I said, ‘That’s exactly right.’ ”

    And why didn’t Sidney want to deduct them?

    “They weren’t deductible,” Sidney said with a shrug.

    When the Washington Post's John Kelly asked him if he ever got stressed by busy season, Weiss had a surprising answer:

    No, Sidney said. “You just keep going.”

    I'm just going to leave this here.

    • FartDude

      Well, all that and Jack Daniels.

    • Chris

      Granted, the guy probably rushed German machine gun nests like an epic badass so busy season is nothing for him.

      • redbean

        Chris, I like your style; do read the full article however. (if you’re procrastinating like I am). The article cites his kids saying that busy season did take a bite out of him. “His daughter Ellen Franks snorted. “We found a photo of my father during tax season,” she said, pointing to a black-and-white snapshot of a younger Sidney Weiss looking weary, as if he’d been beaten about the head with a copy of the Tax Code. “Don’t let him tell you he doesn’t get stressed. We ran the other way from January to April every year.””
        Still mad props to the guy.

        • Chris

          Yeah I was being lazy. Should have read the whole article. But why do I get this feeling that this dude has balls of brass?

          • herman

            I was thinking blue balls with all the strippers he had in there giving him lap dances when he was trying to do their 1040s.

    • Big4Veteran

      Wait, life insurance premiums aren’t deductible? Shit.

      • N.E.R.D.

        It depends on who you’re asking and where you bury the expense…

        Serious answer:

        Generally not since the proceeds paid out upon death are excluded from gross income.

        You can claim phantom income on your W-2 based on some IRS table and your employer/company can deduct premium payments if the proceed payout is >$50,000.

        • 080080

          NERD alert! Wait… oh shi–

        • Diving Duck

          I took REG once…

      • billbrasskey

        It’s a good thing we can get it cheaply through the AICPA!

        I know this because they mail me about it all the time.

        • FartDude

          The AICPA is the king of spam, both deadtree and electronic.
          If it says AICPA, it goes in the garbage/recycle bin.

          • billbrasskey

            I’ve been a CPA for like 60 days and they already sent me a paper airplane. An. Actual. Paper. Airplane.

            No BS.

            My immediate response was “Are they serious?!?!?”

            • Pics or it didn’t happen.

            • billbrasskey

              I may have thrown it away in disgust. This was like two days ago so I may still have it.

              Will provide pics if I can. I was in disbelief at the stupidity of it all.

            • FartDude


            • FartDude

              sorry…got a bit worked up.
              Paper airplanes are fun.

        • MWCPA

          The only thing I have ever received from the AICPA is solicitation for insurance. What a great professional organization.

    • Loophole, CPA

      Well, depending on the facts, life insurance premiums COULD be deductible to a company if:
      1) the company-paid life insurance covers officers and employees
      2) if the company is not directly or indirectly a beneficiary under the contract
      3) if the life insurance paid is included in the employee’s W2 wages

      Also, IRC Section 264 covers deductibility of group term life insurance.

      Someone forgot to keep up with their CPE!


      • Derrick Rose

        i was gonna type something about s-corp rules and health insurance but i got lazy.

      • jizzmane2


    • The Horniest Partner

      70 years of doing taxes…jeebus

      • Deloitte Douche

        Bro, I hope he has some strong medicinal shiznit!

    • Smack That

      I would kill myself before working at that age. I’m doing everything I can to retire as early as possible. My goal is btw 55 and 60. It’s only 20-25 years off, and my kids will be grown by then. Whatever it takes…

    • Sammy K

      You should change the name of this article to “90-year old tool”.

    • kpom

      70 busy seasons? That’s crazy. He should have gone into Advisory about 55 years ago.