September 15, 2019

Gay rights

Let’s Have a Candid Conversation About Being Gay In Public Accounting

After last week's post about LGBT accounting professionals, we received the following: Dear Going Concern (Caleb, Adrienne, and the once-a-week Greg), I feel like the GC community could benefit from an actual discussion about homosexuality in the Big 4. For a bit of background, I am a homosexual male who started as a Staff 1 […]

Jim Turley Now Faces the Wrath of Chuck Norris

I guess when Boy Scouts of America board member Jim Turley spoke out about the Scouts' policy on gay participants in its questionably straight activities (dudes in scarves hanging out together in the forest? Come on), a bunch of people got upset. It's unfortunate we as a society aren't at a point where we can […]

Confession: We Have a Mad Crush on Susan S. Coffey, CPA

Consider this our official admission that we’ve got the hots for Susan Coffey of the AICPA (not to be confused with this Susan Coffey, who also happens to be a hottie).

Suddenly we’re really into anything she has to say, made even more addic��������������������point on international standards and affinity for acronyms that no one can keep up with. We like that in a woman. “Please note that the AICPA supports international standards and believes in adoption as an ultimate goal, but requiring adoption at this time is unrealistic.” Talk about a siren’s call.

Suz isn’t really in the news too much (most of the face time goes to Barry Melancon) but we managed to find a recent comment letter to the Senior Technical Manager of the Compliance Program at the International Federation of Accountants that she wrote:

May 31, 2011
Senior Technical Manager
Compliance Program
International Federation of Accountants
545 Fifth Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, New York 10017

Dear Senior Technical Manager,

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is pleased to comment on the IFAC exposure, Proposed IFAC Member Body Compliance Program Strategy 2011-2014.

We applaud the Compliance Advisory Panel’s (CAP) effort to provide a work plan and timeline to the Terms of Reference (TOR) approved by the IFAC Board in September 2008 for future CAP activities. These activities continue to enhance the Member Body Compliance Program and meet the expectations of the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB) in its oversight of CAP, as an important public interest activity committee (PIAC) within IFAC.

[Six sentences filled with so many acronyms that it reads like 1st Grader’s handwriting class.]

The new concept of “adoption” suggests that member bodies and/or their country’s governments should turn over their role in standard-setting for the profession to international groups without question. We submit that this approach is not acceptable in current international and national political environments. Therefore, CAP should not require IFAC member bodies to achieve a level that is not practical nor realistic, setting up the Member Body Compliance Program for failure. [Do we have a dominatrix on our hands?]

We feel strongly that the current Best Endeavors goal with its convergence objective is currently working and should continue without any further consideration of elevating this benchmark to total adoption. Please note that the AICPA supports international standards and believes in adoption as an ultimate goal, but requiring adoption at this time is unrealistic [Adrienne is fanning herself]. This would create a situation where most member bodies would be in violation of the IFAC Compliance Program and would continue in violation for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important exposure, and we appreciate your consideration of our concern.

Sincerely,
Susan S. Coffey, CPA
Senior Vice President
Member Quality and International Affairs

So not exactly Hafiz but we’re still smitten. How did this CPA-soaked Cupid’s arrow strike us, you ask? Adrienne saw her speak at AICPA Spring Council and was completely in awe from even before she said, “Good afternoon, I’m Susan Coffey.” As she was debriefing me about Tom Hood’s boyish charms and whatnot, I happened to ask if there were any females that had any qualities prized by the superficial man. Of course that’s when she launched into Ms. Coffey’s speech at the Council. She couldn’t really remember what was being said but then she pointed me to her picture and then our conversation turned to a possible future hottie contest on GC (Susan would be a #1 seed, natch) that has yet to develop.

ANYWAY, we’ve discussed this crush at length and we decided it was time that we jointly confess our affections to the GC faithful. What do we exactly do we want to accomplish with this admission? Drinks and appetizers would probably be a good start. Getting in touch, Susan, is easy. Email us here.

Now that we’ve sufficiently put ourselves out there, dear readers, feel free to send us any nominations you have for accountants that you’d like to see in a future hottie contest. We’ll do the appropriate due diligence once we feel that enough worthy candidates have been submitted but just know that Ms. Coffey will be in field.

IRS Issues an Apology to Same Sex Couples It Yelled at For Doing Their Taxes Wrong

Gay and lesbian couples in California got an “I’m sorry” from the IRS last week after robo-letters went out to same-sex couples who filed under new IRS rules which recognize their relationships for the first time in states with community property rules (California, Nevada and Washington). That means joint property is divided 50/50, regardless of who wears the pants (or the dress) in the couple.

Scott James has the scoop via the Bay Citizen:

The change to the tax code, put into effect for 2010, was supposed to be a step toward equal treatment by the I.R.S.

Instead, couples have faced a litany of conflicts. The latest involves at least 300 taxpayers who have had their returns rejected with terse letters signed by an enigmatic I.R.S. employee named J. Bell from Fresno.

“Your return includes income or tax liability for more than one taxpayer, other than husband and wife,” the letters read. Note: husband and wife. Not two husbands, or two wives.

Couples who received the letters had to produce additional paperwork and faced delays in receiving refunds; most were forced to hire tax professionals.

In a statement this week, the I.R.S. said that the letters had been “incorrectly sent” because of a processing error and that it “apologizes for this mistake and sincerely regrets any inconvenience to taxpayers.”

Santa Clara University law school professor Patricia Cain has an excellent blog on the subject of same sex taxes. Of the IRS apology, she said “Just to be clear, in my view, the battle is not between us and the IRS. The IRS wants to do the right thing. It wants to tax each citizen on the right amount of income under existing law. That is its job. However, the IRS is seriously hampered from promulgating rules that apply to same-sex couples by the the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The IRS is to be commended for understanding that DOMA cannot usurp state property law. Thus I continue to applaud its decision about how to tax community income of same-sex couples. And now that the IRS understands how difficult it is to communicate these new rules, even to its own employees, I applaud them again — this time for their apology — which, by the way, I accept.”

Let me give the IRS a tip: you need money, right? Same sex couples have it. They do all the things other taxpayers do – buy stuff, work, pay their taxes. All they are asking for is equal treatment under tax laws. If straight couples can get trapped in loveless marriages and file jointly, why can’t gays have the same rights?

We all deserve to be miserable, overtaxed and sexless.

IRS Ruling Gives Same-sex Couples Equal Tax Treatment

Specifically, under a feature of California law that recognizes domestic partnerships gay couples must now combine their income and report half of it on each of their respective returns.


The ruling marks the first time that the IRS has recognized same-sex couples as equal to their heterosexual counterparts for tax purposes. Of the community-property states (i.e. all property and debt is owned equally by a couple) Nevada and Washington also recognize domestic partnerships, so couples there may also be affected.

Gay Couples Get Equal Tax Treatment [WSJ]