Oct 06, 2009
If You Are Going Through Hell, Keep Going
If you are going through hell, keep going.
- Winston Churchill.
Rodney Atkins provides the country version of the Churchill quote. Like many country singers, Atkins uses some, um, "least common denominator" language to get his point across. And like many country songs, this one makes pretty decent sense.
*In case you're wondering what tax lawyers do, in addition to making movies like The Firm, here's something from the Missouri Bar Bulletin.
Published on: 1/1/2006 Stanley Weiner
The seeds of what would become Missouri's IOLTA program were planted in the early 1980s, when the Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar asked Kansas City attorney Stanley P. Weiner, a member of the firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, to chair a Special Task Force on Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts.
The Board charged the task force with looking into the feasibility of establishing an IOLTA program - a concept already operational in several states - in Missouri.
"I was appointed to chair the task force because IOLTA had a significant tax issue, and I'm a tax attorney," Weiner recently recalled with a laugh."The analogy that tax people use is that 'whoever owns the tree pays taxes on the fruit.' When clients have their money in a trust account with an attorney, they own the tree.Theoretically, they should pay income tax on the earnings in that trust account.That was the tax issue.
"Because of the fact that the amounts of money that would be generated in terms of [interest] income to clients are so small, and because attorneys combine many of their trust account monies together, the result is that accounting for who has $2.14 of interest on the $1,000 they left in a trust account for two months is just too expensive.Up until IOLTA, these trust account funds were put in non-interest bearing accounts because attorneys could not keep the interest themselves - it wasn't their money and it was unethical," Weiner said.
"It was Florida that came up with the idea of changing it so that the income could be sent to IOLTA without accounting for the income as the client's," he added.The Florida program was also aided by a favorable Internal Revenue Service ruling stating that the interest generated by client funds held in an interest-earning trust account does not belong to the client.
At the request of the Board of Governors, Weiner traveled to Florida to further investigate the operation of that program.
Joining Weiner on the fact-finding mission was Richard F. Halliburton, executive director of Legal Aid of Western Missouri. ... Weiner and Halliburton, along with the other members of the task force, then prepared a recommendation for a voluntary IOLTA program. ... "When the Supreme Court adopted the Board of Governors' recommendation, Missouri became the 30th state to adopt IOLTA," Weiner said. ... "Glenn shared the Foundation's emphasis that a minimal staff was essential," Weiner added. ... "It's hard to believe that it has been 20 years."
I love that song!
Posted by: jenny | Oct 6, 2009 11:19:26 AM
Thank you for this, Phil. It was very kind of you to post this item about my dad. He would have liked you. :-)
Posted by: CWC | Oct 7, 2009 7:18:10 PM