Business meals at a restaurant are now fully tax deductible — at least for the next two years. To promote increased business spending at restaurants, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021” directed the IRS to increase the deduction from 50% to 100% of the cost of food and beverages provided by a restaurant.

The IRS had previously issued final regulations about the deductibility of expenses for entertainment or food and beverages as provided in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The final regulations disallow deductions for entertainment expenses and limit deductions for food and beverage expenses paid or incurred after December 31, 2017. The final regulations apply to tax years that begin on or after October 9, 2020. The temporary allowance of 100% deductions applies only to food and beverages provided by a restaurant and only for tax years 2021 and 2022. The final regulations will again apply to business restaurant meals after 2022.

Entertainment does not, however, include the cost of items that, while satisfying the personal, living, or family needs of an individual, are “clearly not regarded as constituting entertainment.” For example, expenses such as the cost of a hotel room paid by an employer for an employee to use as lodging while that employee is traveling on business, or the cost of an automobile provided for business even though the employee may use the automobile for routine personal purposes such as commuting to and from work, would not be considered entertainment. Providing a hotel room or an automobile to an employee who is on vacation would, however, be entertainment.

Meals Provided with Entertainment

The regulations say that entertainment “does not include food or beverages unless the food or beverages are provided during or at an entertainment activity.” Those costs are generally treated as part of the nondeductible entertainment expenditure unless they are purchased separately from the entertainment, or the cost of the food or beverages is stated separately from the cost of the entertainment on the receipt or invoice. The amount charged for the separately purchased items must be the venue’s “usual selling cost” or a reasonable price.

When Are Entertainment Expenses Deductible?

Entertainment expenses that fall into one of the following eight categories generally are 100 percent deductible if the ordinary and necessary rule of Section 162 and the substantiation rules of Section 274(d) are satisfied:

  1. Expenses for facilities used in connection with the furnishing of food and beverages primarily to the taxpayer’s employees on the taxpayer’s business premises
  2. Expenses treated as compensation to the recipient of the entertainment, amusement or recreation
  3. Expenses incurred or paid by a taxpayer that are reimbursed to the taxpayer under a reimbursement or other expense allowance arrangement in connection with the performance of services for another person
  4. Expenses for recreational, social or similar activities (including facilities) primarily for the benefit of non-highly-compensated employees
  5. Expenses directly related to business meetings attended by a taxpayer’s employees, stockholders, agents or directors
  6. Expenses related to attending business meetings of business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards and boards of trade
  7. Expenses for goods, services, and facilities made available by the taxpayer to the general public
  8. Expenses for goods or services (including the use of facilities) which are sold by the taxpayer to customers

Food and Beverage Expenses

Taxpayers generally may continue to deduct 50 percent of expenses for food and beverages if: (1) the expenses are not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances; (2) the taxpayer, or an employee of the taxpayer, is present at the furnishing of such food or beverages; and (3) the food or beverages are provided to the taxpayer or a business associate.

Travel Meals

Food or beverage expenses paid or incurred while traveling in pursuit of a trade or business are generally subject to the 50 percent deduction limitation as well as the limitations for luxury water transport, education travel, and travel expenses of a spouse, dependent or friend.

Exceptions to 50 Percent Disallowance of Food and Beverage Expenses

The deduction limitation for food and beverage expenses does not apply to a taxpayer when such an expense is:

  1. Treated as compensation by the taxpayer to the recipient of the food or beverage
  2. Reimbursed to the taxpayer under a reimbursement or other expense allowance arrangement in connection with the performance of services for another person
  3. For food and beverages served at a recreational, social, or similar activity primarily for the benefit of the taxpayer’s non-highly-compensated employees
  4. For food and beverages that are provided to and primarily consumed by the general public
  5. For food and beverages sold to customers

As a result, food and beverage expenses that fall into one of these categories generally are 100 percent deductible if they are not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances, and the ordinary and necessary rule of Section 162 and the substantiation rules of Section 274(d) (when applicable) are satisfied.

If you have questions about taxes for entertainment and food and beverage expenses,  give us a call at 502-451-8773 or stop by for a visit. We are here to help.


If you’re one of the millions of Americans waiting patiently for your 2020 federal tax refund, I sympathize with you. This tax filing season has been one like never before and I am hearing from many of you wondering why you haven’t received your payment yet. There are several reasons for the delays, but I can assure you that your return was prepared with the utmost care and expertise, and it is likely part of the sizable IRS backlog of returns.

As of June 5, the IRS reported there are more than 18 million 2020 returns in its pipeline to be processed, and a few million others yet to be finalized from 2019. This past year has been extraordinary, the least of which being the COVID public health crisis and widespread unemployment. In addition, a series of stimulus payments from the federal government to help people navigate COVID financial woes was also managed by the IRS, and to ensure all eligible citizens received stimulus money, the IRS told Americans that everyone should file a tax return. Between more returns, unemployment amendments, issuing stimulus money and processing regular returns, the IRS has had its work cut out for it. Like many businesses during the pandemic, the IRS also had obstacles to overcome like switching its workforce from onsite to virtual and operating with a reduced staff.

If you have not received your refund 21 days after filing, it is likely that it is under further review. This happens more frequently when a return includes a recovery rebate credit, suspicion of identity theft or fraud, a claim for an earned income credit or other criteria that will ping a return for a manual review.

If you receive any correspondence from the IRS regarding your return, please contact me with a copy of the letter you received, and I can guide you through that. Unfortunately, due to the delays in processing, some notices are being sent by the IRS despite timely follow-up by you, or myself on your behalf. At this point, I am as powerless as you to speed up the IRS process, so patience is our best option right now.

I will keep you updated with all important news from the IRS that may apply to your situation. Call me at 502-451-8773, or drop by and we can discuss this and any other tax issues you may have.

Turning Your Hobby Into a Business
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You’ve loved dogs all your life so you decide to start a dog training business. Turning your hobby into a business can provide tax benefits if you do it right. But it can create a big tax headache if you do it wrong.

One of the main benefits of turning your hobby into a business is that you can deduct all your qualified business expenses, even if it results in a loss. However, if you don’t properly transition your hobby into a business in the eyes of the IRS, you could be in line for an audit. The agency uses several criteria to distinguish whether an activity is a hobby or a business. Check the chart below to see how your activity measures up.

Business vs Hobby table

The business-versus-hobby test

If your dog training business (or any other activity) falls under any of the hobby categories on the right side of the chart, consider what you can do to meet the business-like criteria on the left side. The more your activity resembles the left side, the less likely you are to be challenged by the IRS.

On the other hand, if you determine that you’re really engaged in a hobby, there are still some tax benefits to be had. You can treat hobby expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on a tax return, but generally not more than hobby income. They can be used to reduce taxable income if they and other miscellaneous expenses surpass 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.

If you need help to ensure you meet the IRS’s criteria for businesslike activity, reach out to schedule an appointment. Call us at 502-451-8773 or stop by for a visit.

When Bourke Accounting experts first started seeing lists of personal gender pronouns (“PGPs”) included in email signatures, it didn’t faze them; in fact, it was considered helpful to know what clients would like to be called.  Bourke Accounting pros don’t lament that more sensitivity and respect are required in this changing world – rather, they embrace the progress.  Since it is unacceptable to shame those on identity journeys, it is also imperative to throw out the “one size fits all” motifs and language of the past.

According to the UCLA School of Law, there are roughly 1.4 million Americans who identify as transgender.  The fact that so many people are openly and proudly acknowledging their identities is proof that we are on the road to an inclusive world and is, frankly, something to be celebrated.  Perhaps one of the most important aspects is that living as another gender is no longer considered evidence of mental illness.  We’re growing up!

However, as with all things new, there are divergent opinions regarding the latest rules.   For example, professors Abigail Saguy and Julie Williams, in a piece written for Scientific American, promote the idea that “we begin addressing everyone with gender-neutral pronouns (“they,” “them”)” (  The reasoning is that to use gendered pronouns (“she,” “he”) is calling attention to gender when it is irrelevant.  In addition, Saguy and Williams argue that the use of gender-neutral third-person pronouns could go so far as to lessen discrimination and bias in social situations (  These are viable points, right?

Not according to Alex Hanna, PhD, Nikki Stevens, PhD student, et al., also writing for SA.  They believe that taking gender out of language would actually be a form of violence towards trans and gender non-conforming people because “gender is an important part of their identity” (  To Hanna, Stevens, et al., ignoring gendered words is akin to treating symptoms without addressing the disease (  They don’t think that forcing ungendered words will change a biased mindset, but it will close the door on a subtle, yet noticeable, way in which to address gender.

Besides the two camps mentioned, there is, of course, another side to the debate: The Grammar Tyrants.  These people were taught at a young age that a plural pronoun should never be used in relation to a singular, solitary, individual person. The Tyrants have nothing but respect for the courage of trans people, they have no problem calling people what they want to be called – they aren’t bad folk, they simply naturally and totally cringe upon hearing grammatical errors (and yes, using “they” for an individual is grammatically incorrect).  Rather than settling with using the person’s name in place of all pronouns, there is a push to use the non-gender specific pronoun “hir” to replace “her” and “him.” In addition, “ze” is offered as a great alternative to “she” and “he.”  For those of us who are adversely affected by, let’s say, Applebee’s commercials (“Eatin’ good in the neighborhood”?!), a brand-new word is infinitely better than poor grammar.

Using a requested pronoun is a sign of solidarity and respect.  The word “they” won’t change close-minded people, but it is a step toward unity.  After everything we’ve been through, being gentle with each other is certainly where it’s at.

Bourke Accounting bookkeepers and tax preparers will call you anything you’d like.  While being sensitive to your pronoun needs is good, Bourke Accounting pros are also sensitive to your financial needs.  Bourke Accounting experts have no problem with answering your questions and treating you with the respect you deserve.  Whether you’re a she, ze, he or they, Bourke Accounting is here for you.

Come see us any time.  Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at  See you soon!

Written by Sue H.




Kill them with kindness, show some chutzpah – Stephanie Rach’s mom

Do you know what’s better than fancy cars or free money?  Interesting people.  An unexpected perk of working at Bourke Accounting is the opportunity to interact with interesting people on a regular basis.  For example, I recently interviewed two fascinating business owners for Bourke Accounting’s Super Podcast: Marcy Billetter, president of Akamai Management Solutions (and Human Resources guru) and Stephanie Rach, founder of SuperLove Cookies (and Marketing genius).  In both cases, we ran out of time; since unasked questions are the saddest, I asked both entrepreneurs if they would be so kind as to entertain just a few more through email.  And wouldn’t you know it? They turned out to be so kind.

While our society has certainly progressed, we’re not quite there yet.  When asked how she would explain the gender wage gap to upcoming generations, Billetter pointed to the Equal Pay Day model.  This model breaks down the number of extra days a woman must work in order to match what a man is paid for the same job.  For instance, Black women must work an extra 214 days to catch up; Latinas are looking at 293 days.  This isn’t conjecture, this is the sad, stark truth.  Billetter mentioned that she would explain the chart using the “language of mathematics – an area where we know that women are not treated with parity…” (Interview).  Rach answered that she often tells her daughters that “they have every opportunity to earn equally to others.”  Importantly, she counsels them to avoid complaining, to “educate yourself, stay motivated and never fear speaking up for yourself…” (Interview).  Between math and good advice, the next generation might have a chance.

Besides the glaring inequality of pay, I asked both women how the working world has treated them.  Billetter reported that she was never made to feel “less than” due to her gender.  She attributes this to the higher education that allowed her to enter into “white collar professions where males were used to seeing females” (Interview).  Additionally, she’s lived and worked in places where “women are financially successful” (Interview).  However, Billetter has experienced discrimination based on her age and ethnic heritage by both men and women (Interview).  Sheesh! If the left doesn’t take you then the right one will.  Rach, just out of college and working in the entertainment industry, experienced sexual harassment disguised as “compliments.”  An actor pondered aloud which was sweeter, the cookies Rach provided or Rach herself (Interview).  Obviously, speaking to a stranger in an overly familiar and sexualized fashion reeks of weird dominance games.  Perhaps even worse was when a female boss took an account away from Rach because the client announced that Rach was the reason for winning the account in the first place (Interview).  Rach lamented that, while this woman should have been a mentor, she, instead, became a rival.  The experience was so terrible, that Rach eventually quit and (here’s the silver lining) started her own agency.

After speaking with these two successful and interesting women, there is cause for optimism.  The news from the trenches is good and both women seem to believe that full equality is on the horizon.  Moreover, these business owners are striving to create inclusive and respectful work environments, not just for women, but for everyone.  Clearly, they are walking the walk for all of us.

Like the above sages, Bourke Accounting treats clients and employees with respect.  Bourke Accounting pros have found that discrimination is rarely interesting and, since Bourke doesn’t like being bored, they don’t engage in it.  When you work with a Bourke Accounting expert, you will receive outstanding service and you will be treated with the upmost respect.  You can’t ask for more when Bourke gives you all!

Come see us any time.  Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at  See you soon!

Written by Sue H.



When Bourke Accounting moved to our current and lovely location, changes were made.  Accent walls were painted, pictures were hung and knick knacks were strategically placed around the office.  Management transformed impersonal Suite 102 into the welcoming Home of Bourke Accounting that it is today.  Whether it’s hanging fuzzy dice from the rearview or putting up a mailbox, we humans tend to mark our territory – thankfully, this is usually done with throw pillows and not bodily fluids like our four-legged pals.  However, decorating is not the only way in which we announce ownership of a specific environment; we change tax laws, too.

Every time a new president parks the Presidential toothbrush in the Presidential john, changes to our tax laws follow soon after.  Are these modifications used to herald in the new boss in an obvious way?  Are these changes part of an agenda near and dear to the prez’s heart?  While the motivation is immaterial, the new rules are not.

When looking at President Biden’s proposals, it’s pretty clear that not everyone is going to be happy.   Just as the former administration’s plan gave free prizes to the rich, Biden’s plan seems to favor the working masses.  For example, in an attempt to protect Social Security, Biden wants to make more “income from wealthier Americans subject to the Social Security payroll tax” (  For this year, wages above $142,800 aren’t subject to it, but Biden would like to add those making above $400,000 into the Social Security mix (  According to economically inclined Negative Nancies, Social Security will run out by 2035 if we don’t change things up (  It might not be comfortable for certain segments of the population, but I vote that we change things up.

Besides including the wealthy in Social Security taxes, Biden is also proposing increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%.  In addition, and to stop successful companies from paying no tax, all corporations will be “subject to a 15% alternative minimum tax on book profits of $100 million or more.”  These companies would then have to pay whatever is bigger – the regular tax or the AMT (  For those of us here on the ground, making big business pay a little more doesn’t seem so terrible.  It’s not all bad news, though.  Corporations will also be offered new tax credits, from “benefits to deal with workforce layoffs to small business incentives to provide retirement savings plans” (

In order to help struggling families, there’s chatter about temporarily increasing the child tax credit to $3,000 per child aged 6-17 and to $3,600 for kids under 6.  There’s further talk about “expanding the childcare credit to 50% of a family’s childcare costs for children under age 13” (  These credits would phase out for folks making between $125,000 and $400,000.  Finally, there are about a million permutations regarding student loan debt.  Rumors abound from simply forgiving interest and penalties all the way to forgiving total student loans and “excluding the forgiven amount from taxation” (  Oddly, there is very little discussion regarding how professors and security guards will be paid if all of this forgiveness happens.  Perhaps good, ol’ prof will just take one for the team?

Everyone wants to a make a mark.  Some of these marks are nice, like planting a vegetable garden.  Some of these aren’t so nice, like encouraging unbalanced people to do illegal things.  While some of Biden’s new tax proposals might actually help our country, there is no sense in getting invested until the IRS releases their guidance.  They are, after all, the ones we taxpayers have to impress.

Bourke Accounting’s tax preparers are paying attention.  Although IRS laws change as quickly as the weather in Kentucky, Bourke’s experts will be prepared.  When you have a return done by a Bourke Accounting pro, you know that your return will be completed with the most up-to-date knowledge and care.  IRS laws are ever changing, the perfectionism and dedication of a Bourke Accounting tax preparer is not.

Come see us any time.  Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at  See you soon!

Written by Sue H.


It’s amazing how some decisions, theoretically made with a clear head, can lead to completely disastrous outcomes.  For example, if you had your tax returns done by a certain well-known strip mall “accounting firm” instead of Bourke Accounting last year, you might have noticed a delay in your second stimulus payment.  For some reason, the IRS sent the money to accounts set up by these strip mallers for clients who chose to have their preparation fees deducted from their refunds (  It was a fairly easy fix, but with many taxpayers in dire straits, a delay of even a week could have meant the difference between eating or not.  Interestingly, all eligible Bourke Accounting customers received their checks.  Just sayin’.

Another example of an innocuous decision turning tragic can be seen when looking at Bradford, England in 1858.  This unassuming town was the site of a mass poisoning that took the lives of twenty citizens and sickened over 200 more (  While it might sound like some twisted predator was running around poisoning people, the truth is even scarier; it happened because people innocently made decisions that didn’t remotely seem dangerous.

Perhaps the first step on the road to death revolved around the high cost of sugar.  Sugar could only be afforded by the super-rich, as a pound cost £50 ($68.59) in today’s money (  But, hey!  The working class deserved something sweet, too!  Because of this, a lot of food manufacturers added a little something to the sugar used in their products, namely “daft.”  Daft was an additive commonly made from plaster of Paris, powdered limestone or sulphate of lime (  Apparently, plaster of Paris doesn’t make you sick.  But arsenic does.

William Hardaker sold candy from a stall in the local market, but he bought his wares from candymaker Joseph Neal.  Everything was fine until Hardaker put in an order for a specific candy and Neal found that he needed more daft to fill it.  So, Neal sent one of his workers to the chemist shop.  The chemist was sick that day, but his assistant, William Goddard, saw to the order (  The daft was in a barrel in the poorly lit attic, right next to an identical barrel that happened to contain arsenic.  Just for fun, neither barrel was correctly labeled (  So, Goddard accidentally sold the candymaker’s assistant 12 lbs of arsenic trioxide and sent him on this way (

Neal thought the daft looked weird.  When Hardaker saw the candy, he thought it looked weird, too, but Neal gave him a killer discount and everyone was happy (  That is, of course, until the people started falling down.  What was originally feared to be a cholera epidemic was quickly discovered to be poisoning and inspectors ended up at Hardaker’s stall.  Hardaker had already sold enough candy to kill 2,000 people when he was questioned (

The chemist, his assistant and Neal were all arrested on manslaughter charges, but their charges were later withdrawn ( – it really was just a silly, deadly accident.  As a result of the outcry, The Pharmacy Act of 1868 was implemented, requiring that chemists register poisons and document sales much more carefully (

Sometimes seemingly simple decisions can lead to surprising consequences.  Life is imperfect and all you can do is make the most sensible decisions you can (and hope for the best).

A very sensible decision this tax season would be to see a Bourke Accounting expert.  With decades of knowledge and practice under their belts, Bourke pros will never steer you wrong.  And if Bourke Accounting reps offer you candy, you can rest assured that it will be 100% arsenic free!

Come see us any time.  Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at  See you soon!

Written by Sue H.


Spector was the ultimate example of the art always being better than the artist. – Stevie Van Zandt

Spector was a murderer and an abusive maniac. – Drew Carey

Bourke Accounting is a good accounting firm.  Our bookkeepers and tax preparers are determined, conscientious and talented.  Bourke may not go down in history as prominently as Microsoft (Bill and Tim have some ideas, so that really remains to be seen), but, as a business, it will be remembered well.  Bourke Accounting clients have nice things to say and, citing Bourke’s honesty and expertise, often refer others to our door.  Bourke will be remembered well and that’s important.

As humans, we are obviously imperfect.  The trick is to do enough good in the world that our slight missteps can be easily forgiven and forgotten – call it the Balance Sheet of Life.  It’s this concept, combined with the very conflicted life of Phil Spector, that is putting the music industry through some changes right now.  Spector, music producer and monster, died this weekend at 81 years old.  He was serving 19 years to life for the 2003 murder of acquaintance Lana Clarkson and would have been up for parole in a few years (

That Spector changed the course of music with his innovative production skills cannot be denied.  Through his inclusion of strings, horns and new recording techniques, his “Wall of Sound” transformed teenybopper tunes into introspective, mature works. Spector won a Grammy Award and was inducted in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Yes, American music would sound very different if not for the work of Phil Spector.

But.  Spector was also a very violent man and this was obvious before he murdered Lana Clarkson.  Spector mentally and physically abused artist Ronnie Spector during their marriage.  It’s said that Spector held the punk rock band, The Ramones, hostage at gunpoint for days (until the lure of narcotics outweighed Dee Dee Ramones’ fear of being shot) (Please Kill Me, McNeil and McCain, editors).  During his trial, five women testified that Spector threatened their lives or attempted to kidnap them (  Giving his eulogy for fellow wife-beater Ike Turner, Spector commented that “Ike made Tina the jewel she was” (  Sometimes you just have to beat some sense into these women, right, Phil?

Once Spector went to prison, “cancelling” him wasn’t very hard.  However, with his death, music journalists are finding themselves walking a precarious line.  To fawn over his career is to condone violence; to ignore his career negates any reason for an article to be written in the first place.  Besides the question of how to write about a cancelled Spector, it must be pointed out that cancel culture is dangerous.  “Cancelling” someone effectively shuts down all dialogue regarding why the individual was cancelled; it’s easy to simply say, “he’s cancelled,” and move on.  Also, cancel culture establishes a hive-type mind that encourages the masses to come to the same conclusion without a lot of independent thought.  In Spector’s case, the point is moot – he’s cancelled either way.

As we stumble through life, the best we can do is try to put more good out there than bad.  We know right from wrong and we should prove it.  No one is expecting us to live as saints, but the least we can do is avoid being remembered like Spector.

This tax season, let the (sorta) saints of Bourke Accounting file your tax returns.  Committed Bourke pros don’t cut corners and certainly don’t play loose with the law.  Bourke Accounting experts have had a very good reputation, for a very good reason, for a very long time.  You will remember Bourke Accounting well.

Come see us any time.  Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at  See you soon!

Written by Sue H.




Tomorrow never happens, man.Janis Joplin

Bourke Accounting bookkeepers and tax preparers don’t practice procrastination.  The Bourke opinion is something along the lines of, “don’t wait ‘til tomorrow because you don’t know what tomorrow will be like.”  While Bourkers don’t procrastinate, this is not to say that they don’t engage in brief and warranted delays once in a while.  For example, if you own a business, Bourke experts aren’t going to close your books for the year until you provide December’s information.  Likewise, if you’re a W2 worker, your Bourke pro will patiently wait until you have your forms to file.

As stated, there is a difference between procrastinating and sensibly postponing a task.  Lately, however, it seems that more Americans are stalling in some areas when we should be acting.  Early in the pandemic, the CDC reported that 41% of us were avoiding emergency and routine medical care because of Covid (  Whether this was caused by low level depression or fear of becoming infected, the outcome – damaged health – was the same.  For example, Kentucky Gov. Beshear’s sign language interpreter, Virginia Moore, was diagnosed with cancer in October.  Luckily, Moore finally got to the doc’s and tragedy was averted.  As a cautionary tale, Moore spoke out about the dangers of avoiding routine care; a very relieved Moore admitted that “there was no excuse” for her to have put off important testing – being busy or forgetting doesn’t matter to pathogens (  As adults, we all know that significant things can go wrong if we don’t have our parts checked on a regular basis.

Dental professionals are also seeing scary repercussions as a result of willful avoidance.  Cracked teeth, caused by both day and nighttime grinding (also known as bruxism) is on the rise.  Dr. Paul Koshgerian, an oral surgeon, reports that the number of fractured teeth coming through his office has more than doubled within the last months (  Anxiety-driven tooth grinding causes long term damage to the teeth (obviously) and jaws and could lead to severe infections (  If you awaken each morning to chipped teeth, sore jaws and blinding headaches, it’s time to see your local dentist.  If you wait too long, this nocturnal habit can leave you toothless, as severe grinding “can wear teeth down to just stumps” (  However, if you catch it early, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to avoid a stumpish future.

While the above are examples of unwarranted stalling, our very own IRS just announced that they will be legitimately delaying the opening of tax season.  Because the IRS “will need more time to prepare after the Covid relief act” (, they will not be processing returns until February 12.  This is to ensure that the correct programming is in place, most notably the addition of the Recovery Rebate Credit on federal tax returns (  This credit is designed for those taxpayers who, for whatever reason, did not receive their stimulus payments.  The delay of tax season is unwelcome news for filers who were depending on a quick tax refund, but getting the bugs out of the system now will save heartache later.  The deadline remains April 15 and the IRS stresses that e-filing as soon as possible and requesting direct deposit will certainly facilitate getting those refunds into bank accounts.

Sometimes, we have no choice but to wait.  Sometimes, we have lots of choices, but decide to put things off anyway.  Whether it’s doing the dishes or visiting the doc, usually it’s best to just get it done now and move on to the next happy bit of business.

Bourke Accounting apologizes that they can’t get you your refund before they can get you your refund.  However, simply because the IRS is busy prepping for the season, is no reason that you shouldn’t get your papers into the hands of a Bourke pro.  If Bourke Accounting preparers have everything needed to file, they can hit the ground running as soon as the IRS opens that starting gate.

Come see us any time.  Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at  See you soon!

Written by Sue H.

From management to me, Bourke Accounting workers are expected to keep their desks neat.  Because searching for important documents wastes time and a bombed-out desk looks bad, this directive makes sense.  Also, it’s much easier to forget an assignment when 20 Post-it notes, haphazardly stuck to the computer screen, vie for priority attention.  Even beyond our offices, though, the cleanliness initiative is in full effect – we keep our kitchen and bathrooms spic and span.

There are two reasons that we keep things nice (well, three, if you consider not wanting to hear about it from the higher ups).  The first is because no one wants to be “that guy.”  You know the one: the co-worker who spills food in the microwave and leaves it to solidify, day after day, probably never heard of a napkin and, Oh, my God!  Surely that mess didn’t start life as anything edible!  That guy.  No, the polite work culture of Bourke means that we try to avoid stepping on each other’s toes.  The other reason is even simpler.  Since everything is already clean, we keep it clean because a dirty bowl would stick out.

This isn’t a new idea.  In 1982, social scientists James Wilson and George Kelling used broken windows as a “metaphor for disorder within neighborhoods” (  Their concept, the broken windows theory, suggests that if a window remains broken in an area, it’s much easier for surrounding windows to become broken.  After windows, comes other acts of vandalism, property crime and, ultimately, serious crime. If nothing is ever cleaned up, it is then believed that there is no one in charge and anything goes.  This further creates a sense of chaos that leads to “fear in the minds of citizens who are convinced that the area is unsafe” (  Once the law-abiding civilians retreat from this questionable community, the community becomes weaker as it’s overrun by the anarchic criminal element.

This theory was tested by Dr. Charles Branas in Philadelphia.  In 2016, Dr. Branas led the push to fix up abandoned buildings and create community parks in high-crime neighborhoods.  Eventually, these neighborhoods saw a “39% reduction in gun violence” (  Once it was clear that someone cared about the community, the population joined in and made it more difficult for the area to return to its lawless state.

While the broken window theory can be observable in neighborhoods and Bourke’s kitchen, it can also be seen at work in our homes.  Data scientist Russell Pollari suggests that your home reflects your identity.  Therefore, if you allow your home to become gross, you’ll eventually identify as a lazy person with no motivation or direction.  Pollari writes that your dirty home persona will then leak out into every other aspect of your life, damaging your relationships and work ethic (  If you allow your dishes to pile up and rot, would it be much of a jump to procrastinate when you have to return customer phone calls or meet deadlines?

Letting your house look like a bad neighborhood from Gangs of New York will harm your mental health and employment.  If you allow it to get bad enough, your social life will suffer, too – no one will invite you to birthday parties if you smell like cat pee and mold.

Bourke Accounting bookkeepers and tax preparers always know where your file is located.  Bourke Accounting experts are also on top of schedules, meetings and deadlines.  Being organized physically and mentally allows Bourke pros to offer the very best in accounting services.  And none of us smell like cat pee.

Come see us any time.  Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at  See you soon!

Written by Sue H.