Ask the CPA

Hope the outlook for your risky investments is better than the outlook for the Chiefs

Christopher Hughes

Greetings – Jack the Heeler and I continue to enjoy the cooler weather while we wait patiently for our new bike. No, not that kind. Hey Mom, can you step away for a second? Thanks. My go-fast, corner-carving in the Smoky Mountain region, 175 mph vs. a gorgeous red Ferrari (The trusty BMW and I had the lead when we had to take our exit home) on The Dallas North Tollway days are likely over. Man, that was hard to write. No sir, this is a pedal bike. The belly must go. I’m sure my recent Braum’s Caramel Anything habit doesn’t have anything to do with it. Anyway, the components are on a big barge from the other side of the world hanging out with 80 of its closest friends quite likely about as far away from The Port of Long Beach as a Patrick-to-Tyreek Hail Mary. I hear qualified OTR drivers can almost write their own ticket as to pay/hours/benefits/bonuses. Drop me a note, I will tell you what I know.

The Coin Toss:

This week’s news from The Tax Man – which really doesn’t mean much – but if you are a tax nerd it is sort of interesting. And this is my column. So there. And I’m still not speaking to the Chiefs, at least not yet. Maybe one more day. Hey Steve – AKA Andy’s D Coordinator – with all due respect sir, but I am still trying to process the Chargers, Bills and Titans coming into our house and, well, whipping our butts. OK, I’ll say the quiet part out loud – those guys imposed their will on us. Lamar, Hank, Lenny, Bobby, Buck, Willie, Jan and Derrick are watching. You got this Coach. If the other guys are just a little bit better that day, no sweat. Everybody gets to come back next week and get paid lots of money to play football. With cheerleaders. In a cool stadium with 80,000 people screaming their heads off for you to win. What a country.

  • The Tax Matriarch is helping companies hire recent retirees to return to work with IRS help.
  • It is time to renew my Preparer Tax ID Number. Oh boy. It is a one-hour process that in my perfect world would take 10 minutes. But in the grand scheme… no big deal. Hey, at least Lady Tax thinks I am worthy to be on the Paid Preparer list. So there’s that.
  • I don’t remember this much chatter about payroll taxes, but The Tax Pater appears to be thinking the e-file payroll tax return routine needs some attention.
  • Some thrill seekers must think it is a good idea to steal donated cash from a charity.
  • If you work for what the Tax Lady calls a “large business” – which means the leadership team some days has a decent chef preparing their lunch to order, and they do not fly commercial because, you know, that whole security line thing is a real pain – then if you would like to have a face-to-face with the Man, you can now do so via IRS secure videoconferencing. If the rest of us want to speak with Mother Tax, we drive to Springfield:


Short Yardage:

This is not an investment column. If it was, I think those closest to me would think me nuts for not getting paid if the column was any good. Whatever it is worth, here are my random musings about stock market speculation. Let me know your thoughts on the matter!

During this past tax season, I saw quite a few investment losses. The ones that stood out were losses related to trading crypto currency, like Bitcoin. Speculating on risky investments could be considered a moneyed, well-educated and -informed type of gambling. Put and call options, crypto, and, from my perspective, the likely culprit in the losing of one’s fortune, retirement, or inheritance – investing on margin. I have dabbled in options. I will not borrow on margin to speculate. Can’t do it. It is quite the thrill to make a year’s worth of tuition at a decent university in a week trading options. It is not a good feeling to lose a few months’ worth of house payments during a lunch hour. Unless feeling like a chump is your thing. Whatever sizzles your bacon.

I’m not saying speculative trading should be banned. No way. Survival of the fittest, man. If you decide to get off the porch and run with the big dogs, my advice is to gear up. You are going into battle. With people who will ruin your financial life in a heartbeat. Set you back 25 years on your goal type stuff. And the market guys with the high-end supercomputers will sleep like a baby that night.

Hail Mary TD:

Last week, I mentioned I was on jury duty for awhile this month. It was an attention-getting dose of a reality check that I am struggling to write about. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading. Please address any questions to

Go Chiefs,

Christopher Hughes, CPA

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice.

Christopher Hughes, CPA

Chris Hughes, a proud Webb City High School grad, is back home after 30 years in business in the Dallas, Texas, area. He invites Sentinel readers to send any questions about income taxes, keeping the books, the IRS, or how ’bout them Chiefs and Cardinals. Questions should not include personal financial information. Send questions to

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