There’s No Place Like hb&k: A Halloween Story
by Rachel Godwin
For Halloween every year, our Brewton office goes above and beyond to create a theme and dress up. This year, they chose the Wizard of Oz and even wrote an entertaining narrative to go along with their costumes! If you’ve ever wondered about the tax system in Oz or whether Dorothy had to pay use tax on her ruby slippers, we’ve got the answers for you. We hope you enjoy it!
It started out as an ordinary day in the life of Dorothy Gale, but it suddenly took a lot of twists and turns. She was on her way, with Toto, to take Auntie Em and Uncle Henry’s tax paperwork to their accountants at Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore, P.C. She was trying to get them to switch to some new firm, but they said no. They had used hb&k for over 25 years, and were absolutely not interested in switching. As a matter of fact, they recommended hb&k to all their friends. As Dorothy was driving, suddenly a tornado swept her away. She woke up in the very strange Land of Oz.
Upon awakening, she was accosted by an evil witch who told her she had to pay use tax on those ruby slippers that had appeared on her feet. The witch said that she would be watching for Dorothy to file her Oz40 return soon. Suddenly a pink bubble appeared, and a lady in a pink dress and a tiara told the witch to be gone and leave Dorothy alone. The witch gave a wicked cackle and jumped on her broom stick and flew away. The lady in pink identified herself as Glinda, the Good Witch of the Taxpayer’s Advocate, and told Dorothy that the evil witch was the Wicked Witch of the Emerald Revenue Service (ERS) who tormented the citizens and businesses of Oz with outrageous tax rates and horrible penalties. Dorothy told Glinda what happened to her and that she had to get her aunt and uncle’s tax papers processed because the deadline was approaching. Glinda directed her to follow the yellow-brick road to find the Wizard of Tax in the Emerald City.
As Dorothy walked along, she encountered three new friends who needed tax help also. First, she met the Scarecrow who owned a grain processing business which processed corn and soybeans. He had been trying to do the bookkeeping himself, but had no experience or knowledge in that area. He had messed up his 941 and W-2 filings for the past 2 years. Now the Wicked Witch of the ERS was after him. They walked on further and encountered the Tin Man. He had been in the cutthroat corporate world for so long, that he had just grown cold inside, heartless really, and felt like he was only going through the motions chopping away at his to-do list every day. He wanted to start a nonprofit organization to help children enjoy the beautiful forests of the Land of Oz. However, the application to be a nonprofit was so convoluted that he messed up one little thing. Now the Wicked Witch of the ERS was trying to deny his application. As they journeyed on towards the Emerald City, they met up with the Cowardly Lion. He wanted to open a Safari and Outdoor Adventure business but was so scared and overwhelmed because he wasn’t sure if he should be an LLC or an S-Corporation. He was too afraid of the Wicked Witch to even call the ERS help line; plus he heard you had to be on hold for at least three hours anyway. The new friends all decided to go see the Wizard of Tax together to get help for their problems.
When they got to the Emerald City, they found the office of the Wizard of Tax. They were treated very rudely by the person at the front desk and told that the Wizard was not taking any new clients and that they would have to come back later. Dorothy finally got the person to allow her 15 minutes to get her aunt and uncle’s tax papers filed since the deadline was swiftly approaching. When she and Toto went into the Wizard’s office, she started asking him questions. He kept giving her very vague answers and was trying to rush her out the door. When she asked him about taking Section 179 on the two new tractors her uncle had purchased, he asked her what was Section 179? He knew nothing of Schedule J Income Averaging either. Dorothy was confused and asked if he was even really an accountant. About that time, Toto knocked over the Wizard’s framed CPA certificate from the Oz Board of Accountancy. The glass shattered and the certificate fell out and turned over. On the back, was an advertisement to a fair featuring a magician that looked just like the Wizard of Tax. The Wizard confessed to Dorothy that he was tired of all the travel from fairground to fairground. He read a Journal of Accountancy and decided he could be a CPA. How hard could it be? Dorothy shook her head in disgust, and said that Auntie Em and Uncle Henry were right; hb&k is an outstanding and honorable firm who cares about their clients. Suddenly, Glinda appeared and told Dorothy to click the heels of her ruby slippers and say three times, “There’s No Place Like hb&k”.
When Dorothy finished doing this, she suddenly woke up back at home. Uncle Henry told her that she had been asleep for three days after the tornado. When she asked about the taxes, Auntie Em told her that hb&k was working on them. They had already called to say that there were some additional deductions this year, so things were looking good. Dorothy realized that it really was important to find a quality trusted advisor to help you with your financial goals. Oh, and everyone lived happily ever after, of course.