Questions Title

BY JOE RICHARDSON

“Facing a Hobson’s Choice” ( JofA, Sept.00, page 57) was an excellent and timely article. The importance of making decisions in connection with IRA distributions and beneficiaries cannot be overstated, and CPAs are taking on awesome responsibilities in this area. Thanks for publishing the story.

I did find the title unfortunate, and it is disappointing that the JofA editorial staff was not familiar with Mr. Hobson’s operations. According to the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins definition, Thomas Hobson required customers at his Cambridge livery stable to take the horse nearest the door. He tolerated no picking and choosing. Thus, if we were truly in a “Hobson’s choice” situation, there would have been no need for the article.

Joe Richardson, CPA
Gainesville, Florida

Editors’ Note: We agree—not every choice an IRA owner faces is a Hobson’s choice. However, we felt the term accurately described the spirit, if not the letter, of the limited options some IRA owners had. Taking distributions over the owner’s life expectancy without recalculation might not be the option “nearest to the door,” but under some circumstances it would be the only choice available.

FEATURE

Tackling TCJA changes this tax season

Return preparers must be ready for how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has modified many common features of individual and business returns.

PODCAST

Why CPAs can’t wait on automation tools

What do accounting firms waiting on others to develop AI, automation, and data analytics tools have in common with a baseball fan sitting in a stadium filling with water at an exponential rate? The answer could determine your firm’s fate.