Thursday, February 6, 2014

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY: How its self evident in every Profession.

IN EVERY PROFESSION there is: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

A Small Case in point: over inducement of Drugs to Michael Jackson (perhaps & depending on how it is viewed) by Dr. Murray Conrad could be categorized as The Bad or The Ugly and abuse in the Noble Medical Profession.

Now Let's see how that Premise pans out in the Context of Annual US Tax Prep & The Industry around it.

The GOOD: Those CPAs', EAs', Tax Attorneys & other Tax Preparers, who Absolutely Believe that US Tax Returns Must & Should be done on US Soil, Period!

The BAD: These are among those who dangle carrots at you to bait you into permitting them to do your Tax Return, by throwing in A Holiday to Hawaii, Free Air Ticket, Free IPad etc & then send your returns to The EU or elsewhere in Asia (no prizes for guessing) to get processed and done & all that the Bailee in US is doing is Mail Order Services & Grinning from Ear to Ear.

The UGLY: In this Category are those 'Professionals' without Any Ethics. It does not matter whether the Return is done in the US or in Timbakthu, they are bent on doing mischief alongside you. Such are those that aide & abet Tax Evasion. Stay Away from such!

Stay with The GOOD. They Mean well Always. They Do Not Cost An Arm & A Leg AND Above All Are Well Intentioned & Sincere. Avoid Bargaining with them. You are Not Shopping for Vegetables, Potatoes & Onions, Please!

With The BAD, You are taking definite & calculated Risks by sending your Tax Returns to 'La La Lands' through them, that know Ethics Only As A Subject in Theory & Do Not Practice it. They are the Ones who Grin from Ear To Ear, to your Own Potential Detriment.

Choose Wisely, who Does Your Taxes.  Your tax return work is like  a Contract of Bailment & You must Ask the Bailee, if your Return is being serviced abroad?  You have a Right To Know.  Unless you ask, the Bailee is not bound to tell, even if its prudent to do so that they tell you of their own Volition.

My Message to TurboTaxers, as long as it's Crystal Clear Vanilla, by All Means Stay Turbo Charged, if u will. Just know that it's an inanimate tool & is not to be construed to mean its the be all, to everything about Tax Returns.

The Above is just a 'Thinking Aloud View' expressed based off surveying the Landscape and in my considered view. It is not written with any Malice or Spite at those Professionals who send US Returns Abroad for processing.

I am of the firm view, that sending US Tax Returns abroad for servicing should not be Entertained due to multifarious risks and reasons that are not unfounded.

Issued in Conscious Public Interest by me. Yours Truly, Koshy P.George, CPA

Saturday, October 19, 2013

DEBT Ceiling Rasied! So to Counter that, is Next Stop: Raising Federal & (where there is) State Taxes, Inevitable???

WHEN The former Soviet Union's Yuri Gagarin became the first human to journey into outer space & his spacecraft VOSTOK completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961, The United States of America had To Raise the bar & We Did in July, 1969 with Neil Armstrong & Company landing on The Moon.

The US since then Raised The Bar of pioneering Spirit through NASA & then many a private enterprise into Space....most recently Elon Musk splendid experiments too!

With The Federal Debt Bar finally having been Raised & Ted Cruz rendered insignificant at least for now, we need America to get Re-Established as a Pioneering Nation and certainly NOT by Raising Taxes or pushing out Social Security checks.

Raising The Bar is always a Good Thing, but Raising even more Debt and no clear methods on reigning in the spending actually means the Government will conveniently reduce Debt by getting it from The People via Taxes. So for Sure Taxes will have to Naturally Go Up! That SHOULD be avoided if we can.

I am going back to what the President recently said: 'We will Bounce Back, despite the 16 Day Shutdown'.

As a Professional CPA, I clearly know Taxes will go up, that is the only convenient easy way for any government to hold the reigns as the spending goes ballistic.

I also need to share with Socialistic Minded Democrats that Taxes DO NOT just go up for the Perceived Haves at lets say for example a bar North of US$ 160k (AGI).
When they go up, TAXES go up for ALL! Period! That is how it works.

Let us Americans hope that the Pioneering Spirit with which The US landed Man on the Moon in 1969, there will be More Innovation, More Manufacturing, More Jobs here in the US & indeed we do Bounce Back with ENTERPRISE & TRADE as opposed to Taxes, being the route to reign in or balance or reduce the Deficit Gap.

Its important that we all think this way instead of sitting on the fence & criticizing and listening to Radio Hosts keep on criticizing President Obama.

Of course its embarrassing when Obamacare web site does not work well. That is actually alarming! Is that because that is a Government Program?

Its funny. EBay, PayPal, Amazon are all Pioneering American Companies in the Market Place and Worldwide too! These entities are primarily successful 'cause of the backbone of a Web Based Super Structure that is Strong!

Why is it after spending Several Million Tax Dollars, the US Government is unable to render a decent Web Based Obamacare System?

How can we 'Bounce Back', if there is squandering & No Accountability?

That should change, Heads should Roll and Competent People should steer ObamaCare IT Systems and front end through the Thicket it finds itself in.

I CANNOT believe, there are No Competent IT Leaders such as able CIO, CTOs' in this Great Nation of ours who cannot provide a Vision & Plan to construct a Robust Web Based Federal Health Care System front end & Rear too, basic Client/Server Architecture Environment, without squandering Tax Dollars. We need to Bounce Back!

Note: for those who are worried about Taxes Going up in the US, your fear is justified.  Any person of ordinary Prudence is living with that valid fear.  Feel welcome to meet with me. There are many valid options that can be explored & discussed and Solutions are offered by the US Tax Code to help minimize and even avoid Heavy, Immediate and Absolutely Avoidable Taxes on your Retirement Funds, be they 401(k) or IRA or other Tax Deferred Repositories.  You owe it to yourself to see a Good Quality CPA to help you circumnavigate the Provisions of the Tax Code to help you fortify and help keep more of your nest egg for yourself.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

INDIA: A Real Jewel in the Crown!

INDIA on the Occasion of its 66 years of Independence from British Rule & Going Strong!

INDIA: Well known to the British Raj as ‘THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN’ & so it was.

Great Britain had many colonies around the world; however, among all the colonies it ruled, no other Colony embraced its Language: ENGLISH so whole-heartedly and put it to great use to accomplish and achieve as great heights as INDIANS have done. INDIA’s immense ongoing success is in no small measure due to its embracing of education in the English Language.

INDIA truly is a land of Astronomy, Spirituality, Mathematics, Philosophies and Great Men of Letters & Great Accommodating Spirit, since times immemorial.

Cutting down to more recent yester year & contemporary times as a tribute to the Great Nation of India let me list a few Great Men & Women of India who used the English Language very well and astounded the Western World towards Accomplishments in their endeavors and callings:

1. Swami Vivekananda
2. Rabindranath Tagore
3. Mahatma Gandhi
4. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
5. Dr. V K Krishnamenon
6. Dr. S Radhakrishnan
7. Maulana Azad
8. Pandita Rama Bai
9. Dr. Vijay Lakshmi Pandit
10. Dr. Abdul Kalam
11. Atal Behari Vajpayee
12. P.V. Narasimha Rao
13. Jidu Krishnamurthy
14. Verghese Kurien
15. Dr. Sashi Tharoor
16. Prof. Amartya Sen

The above is a sampling of a list of Men of Letters, Courage, Conviction and Visionaries from India (past & contemporary) apart from many distinguishing others too.

MEN OF LETTERS, is who should make up the Parliament of India. It’s the Vision & contributions of such & many other men & women of letters that have led India thus far. It also speaks of the Strength & Continuous Might of India.

Can we find as many in today’s Polity….is a poignant and rhetorical question I ask today, as I continue to celebrate INDIA in my own way too. I LOVE & am Passionate about INDIA. Jai Hind!

(note: the above are all men & women i.e. mortals with flaws just like us as is known to mankind. However what distinguishes them is their Vision, Mission, Passion and Commitment to The Great Nation of INDIA AND it Indeed Reflected in their Thought, Word & Actions….Jai Hind!)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Aaare Bhai, its me! These days "A Now & Then blogger"

OH BOY!  Today I am in one heck of a writing mood!  Wanting to write is at times almost like a drunken stupor for me (mind you, I am not an Alcoholic, though).  Writing is meant to be an unrestrained pursuit, even much to the chagrin of my dear wife, who stoically amidst protests, amusingly puts up with me. (I love her Very Much).

I believe if you do not pen it down, the flow never returns for those specific thoughts racing through the forefront on your mind, right then!

One of my dear friends queried with me recently, genuinely: “why do you have to write so much and tell the world?”, "don’t you have better things to do? & that too on fb???, who reads what you have to say any way on dumb fb?  Why don’t you blog on LinkedIn or a blog site instead????’….I smiled and determined to stay quiet & give my answer through this note on 'dumb fb'.

FRIENDS, Yes, I do blog and do put stuff on LinkedIn & Twitter too now and then.  But it’s the thrill of an instant quip from someone over fb (+ve or –ve) that ekes out mirth in me and keeps me Young Hearted.

I have discovered that for myself, unlike many who hold disparaging views about posting on fb, I do not subscribe to that. Do I have tons to do, other than fb, sure YES, but for the Joy of remaining Young Hearted….well never let that Spirit Go!

To me its Writing among other pursuits, to someone else its music, to yet another, its Golf or Cooking…..I say go for it! Never kill Passion!

Would I dare to do stuff like this back in time when I was with E&Y or PwC or other Multinationals, SURELY NOT!  I would see the reflections of doing so on a Performance Appraisal to follow!

THIS privilege of living life ‘foot loose and fancy free’ is the exclusive preserve of An Entrepreneur or one who is in His/Her own business.  A Business Man get to move schedules around to let the creative juices flow until they ebb…just kidding…..have a Joyous Day folks, whichever Hemisphere you are in!

REMEMBER: NEVER KILL PASSION for doing stuff! It sustains you and is your identity, above all KEEPS YOU TICKING! Adios, Au Revoir, Namaste, Cheers!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

My hopes dashed! An Episode in my life today about 'Murgh Musallam'!

I had an interesting experience at an Indian Restaurant in the Bay Area today.  Permit me to describe it.  I saw "Murgh Musallam" on the menu & my mind went back to Daryaganj, Delhi & a wonderful restaurant called Moti Mahal (which now is a franchise and all over Delhi and elsewhere too, check out the web link I have included in this blog later below). A place often frequented during my Delhi days.  So when I read that on the menu at Paradise Biryani Pointe, I got all super charged & excited....slurp, slurp with rivulets breaking all over my tongue imagining I am going to get to eat that dish after so many decades….Reminiscence is a wonderful thing, until hopes get dashed L!

Well the dish arrived & I kept staring at it!

The prominent egg was missing, no sign of raisins or cashew or the rich chicken gravy & the unique smell & the presence of a Shahi Dish!  Where was all that at what was set before me??? I wondered & blinked!  Not once, but twice & thrice!

Instead I am greeted by what looks like an ordinary South Indian chicken curry with fried Curry Leaves & all the other usual trappings of the ubiquitous South Indian Chicken Curry.
I call the Waiter and ask him, where is the Murgh Musallam & he points at the chicken curry I described and says “here sir”.  I say “No, this is not Murgh Musallam”.
He says, “Yes, sir, this is it.  See sir, Murg means Chicken and Musallam is Curry" and gives me a broad smile and a grin and looks on for my approval.  By now you can imagine my predicament!

Also, the choicest cuss words and pet negative words came to my mind in Hindi & in Urdu....but I bit my tongue hard and did not want to embarrass myself in front of my wife & kid and all the other guests.  So I grinned back at him too!  Its funny how the human mind works.  I never thought I could remember so many Hindi/Urdu choice words for this guy as I did.  Stuff I had forgotten eons back....tells you what a different personality I was once upon a time....:-)

From a High Point of Imagination and taste buds all ready to bite into a chunk of Murgh Musallam, belied I thought to myself…..what kind of a Joke is this?
Well in the Bay Area, eating at an Indian Restaurant can be a surprising and amusing experience too!
What else can I say J Good Night Folks!  Enjoy the humor of this Musallam Blog!
If you ever get to visit Delhi and you are a foody, then the Pilgrimage to Moti Mahal in Daryaganj is worth it!
BTW, some of our Bay Area Andhra Cousins are rating Paradise Biryani Pointe a 5, they are doing it for sentimental reasons.  Realistically this place is a 2 in my view.  If for nothing else, lack of Authenticity & the cheek to include many great North Indian dishes on their menu and to bely expectations, of people who visit the place with discernment!  Will I voluntarily visit Paradise Biryani Pointe, Bay Area again?  NO!

Monday, August 1, 2011

President Asif Ali Zardari: A revamped view on the man....possible???

India and Pakistan have been officially engaged in four wars and several diplomatic initiatives at peaceful co-existence since acrimony ever broke out between the two neighbors.

Every General in power or People's government from Pakistan has made overtures towards India and India has played along with suspicions intact and done its fair share of Tap Dances with each of those Pak leaders over time and come away bruised and disenchanted time and again.

Lasting peace is dreamed of by both sides ad-infinitum and that cherished dream is an expansionist ambition with subtle & strong under currents and Sabre rattling now and then & in the present too as this blog expresses itself.

That will always remain as long as Azad Kashmir and other bones of contention remain unresolved.

Well...time to take an inventory & focus on some positives:

1. Culturally the two nations have great interests in each other. What with many a former Bolly wood actor or actress of India having Pakistani Roots & vice versa a Begum Akthar or Suriya melody and classical queens of yesteryears gone by from Pak. Who can ever forget Late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his tremendous vocals. All endearing indeed!

2. Many Prominent North Indian Politicians were also born in Undivided India, now part of Pakistan.

3. The Pakistani Cuisine.....aha....that's a delectable topic....and lip smacking and mouth watering indeed for me, at all times.

When ever I imagine Pakistani Cuisine I can feel the great Pakistani Rivers: Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and Jhelum rivulets & tributaries breaking out on my tongue.

AND then there is ….

4. Cricket & who can forget those turf wars and passions running wild!

5. Urdu poetry is another favorite topic of mine.

6. The people of both nations especially the non heretic people i.e. the educated and culturally elite of Pakistan are a treat to hear and talk to. No denying that.

I am sure by now every one reading & who ever is deeply interested in the subcontinent is wondering what is Koshy up to via this blog and what is new? here I go....

I think a new chapter indeed has been opened with a New Lady Foreign Minister: Hina Rabbani Khar being sworn in & appointed by President Asif Ali Zardari, via his shadow PM. I may be quick to state this but let me hazard it any way, its perhaps so far a masterful Pièce de résistance diplomatic initiative by the Pak President himself for his beloved nation.

He by back ground is an entrepreneur, albeit of a shady kind as has been amply demonstrated by his overtures now and then and his acquired nick names from the past with added %age points and upward trajectory.

In-fact it baffles me that he has stayed on in power so far, despite many a rumblings all around him. The “Gods” do favor him.
He may be the current reigning slick willy of the Indian Subcontinent among its politicians in the midst of several political land mines.

There-in is my appreciation for his new masterful attempt at co-existence democracy with India & to broker peace with the World.

In-fact I should like to think he borrowed many leaves from Shashi Tharoor (former UN Diplomat and Indian Politician from my State of Kerala) in that he has put into practice: “Soft Power” as Shashi often talks off & believes in about India. Well Pak cannot match India in many vistas of its developments when ever they look across the border at India. However ….hey there is no caveat on borrowing a good idea for Diplomacy to work! So this Entrepreneur President works out this charming inoculation and hey presto the world gets to see Hina Rabbani Khar!

India with its Suave & seasoned S M Krishna, its very brilliant, tactical new US Ambassador and former Indian Foreign Secretary: Her Excellency Nirupama Rao & in the Era of Hillary Clinton world wide, You Mr. President do see a perfect crucible and an opportunity to roll the dice and viola what do we have: Hina Rabbani Khar!!!

Great move President Zardari. You have managed to stitch up an amalgam & left every one gaping and wondering: “Yes Pakistan indeed wants to soften its rough, sullied and battered image..... although baby steps, its a bold commendable initiative, given the fact that much water has flowed under the bridge in the neighborhood and internationally too.

I applaud your diplomatic initiative for friendly co-existence with ever friendly neighbor: Hindustan/Bharat/India and also a brave attempt to create a positive impact about Pak with an untried rookie as yet @ Diplomacy. So far you have pulled off a Soft Power coup d'état of sorts....

Genuine Best wishes, Salaam and Aadab!

These wishes come your way from a sincere genuine well-wisher of friendly neighboring ties with India and also to see the best for Pak....better days & years ahead.....Jai Hind, Congrats & Bravo! You do deserve the Kudos!

I should like to think even Quaid-e-Azam is lauding your most recent initiative from some where up above!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Will Pak just remain a nation as the best place from where the best lip smacking Tandoori & Kababs are made...or???

I Believe, much water has flowed under the bridge since 09/11.  There are only three ways in which the Pakistan Nation can redeem itself from the abyss it has fallen into:

1. Hand over Ayman Zawahiri and Mullah Omar to the US |

2. Hand over the 26/11 perpetrators to the Indian Army |

3. Publicly renounce covert/overt support of "Jammat-Ud-this and Jaish-e-that" etc.

All three to be done ASAP, Sans Recourse & Period! and so says this freedom loving individual in this blog, along with countless others!

Do it Gen Ashfaq Kayani and no more sabre rattling. Your nation's millions of  innocents demand it of you, as does the world.

Please do your bit to make the world a better place.  It will undo plenty of perpetrated evils over decades and time by Pak. You will indeed go down in history as a Great Military General if you along with some others of your group cease clandestine and cloak and dagger stuff AND come clean on all this!.  Jai Hind! Bravo!

As I write this blog, I nurture a positive hope that Pakistan will transform itself to be a part of the Free World and part of the Comity Of Nations and not sink even further into a deeper abyss as a "Rouge Nation".  Miracles do happen.  I pray a miracle indeed will happen for the Long Suffering nation of Pakistan.

Finally, I have tasted a variety of Kabobs and Tandoori chicken & other such cuisine from many South Asian Restaurants, in many parts of the world.  BUT the absolute best ones are those that are made by a Pakistani Chef or Pakistani cook, hands down and kudos for their culinary skills!  They have warmed us to their great food.  They can transform themselves into a Freedom Loving Nation too!  

Inshallah, Jai Hind, God Bless Pakistan, God Bless America and God Bless This Troubled World!