NAEA Is Committed to Assisting State Societies Against State Regulatory Encroachment
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NAEA Is Committed to Assisting State Societies Against State Regulatory Encroachment

At the November 2019 NAEA Board Meeting, the board approved a new Government Relations (GR) plan. Among the six objectives set out in that plan was for NAEA to “advise and provide technical assistance to state societies on countering state legislative efforts harmful to enrolled agent... Jeffery S. Trinca

Our View: State of IRS During COVID-19
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Our View: State of IRS During COVID-19

The year 2020 has challenged enrolled agents at many levels. In discussions with Congress and the media, we repeatedly emphasized how the pandemic forced stakeholders to focus on IRS operations and on where Congress and the agency need to focus investment and attention. NAEA has been vocal ab... Jeffery Trinca and Michelle McCaughey

Hard Stops at IRS Provide Hard Lessons for Practitioners
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Hard Stops at IRS Provide Hard Lessons for Practitioners

In little more than a year, the Internal Revenue Service has experienced two complete shut-downs – the first, from December 2018 to the end of January 2019, caused by a lapse in funding and the second during the current coronavirus pandemic. While some external-facing processes, like electr... Jeff Trinca, Esq. and Robert Kerr, EA

An Election Year Primer
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An Election Year Primer

As you read this, you are as near to the year 2000 as you were during the first year of the Reagan Administration. For some, the memory will be fond. For others, less so. For all, though, the reality is that while election cycles effectively start much earlier than they once did (Rona... Robert A. Kerr, EA

Creating a Taxpayer-Focused Internal Revenue Service
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Creating a Taxpayer-Focused Internal Revenue Service

Enrolled agents and other tax professionals are not the only ones who get busy during tax season; Congress also takes a keen interest in tax law and tax administration during our busiest time of year. With that in mind, the NAEA Government Relations team got busy ad... Jennifer MacMillan, EA

Minimum Standards for Return Preparers
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Minimum Standards for Return Preparers

Ten years ago this December, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman announced the creation of a program to regulate paid tax return preparers. After years of pushing and advocating, IRS had finally picked up the ball and scored a touchdown. Rebecca Hawes

NAEA Advocacy
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NAEA Advocacy

NAEA Government Relations Chair, Jennifer MacMillan, EA, gave a presentation during the 2019 National Conference in Las Vegas about some of NAEA’s recent successes on the advocacy front. It was well-received and we had numerous requests from members for a copy of the slide deck for var... Jennifer MacMillan, EA

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Citizen Advocacy – NAEA Style

For the eleventh year, NAEA members traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with their congressional representatives and senators to advocate on tax issues important to enrolled agents. The Congressional Fly-In, held this year on May 14, is a foundational event for NAEA’s advocacy program an... Rebecca Hawes

Simple Solutions for a Better Tax System
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Simple Solutions for a Better Tax System

Ask any experienced enrolled agent and he or she will tell you two things about the current tax system: IRS has fewer, more poorly trained personnel than at any time in the last 30 years; and at the same time, he or she can tell you that there is a proliferation of incompetent and (at ti... Jeffery S. Trinca, JD

Internal Revenue Service Reform
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Internal Revenue Service Reform

If at first you do not succeed, try and try again. We expect IRS reform may be one of the few tax legislative vehicles that moves through Congress this year. Bipartisan, bicameral efforts to pass a reform bill failed at the last minute before the end of the last Congress. But that failure does not seem to have we... Recommendations of the National Association of Enrolled Agents

Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends, Once More: NAEAs GR Objectives for 2019 and Beyond
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Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends, Once More: NAEAs GR Objectives for 2019 and Beyond

With the close of the 115th Congress and the pomp and circumstances surrounding the opening of the new Congress, it is a good time for NAEA’s Government Relations (GR) team to assess our strategic plan, adjust and then, of course, march back up that hill again. ... Jeff Trinca

Wizards of Odds: EAs Triumph in Defending EA Practice Rights in Nevada
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Wizards of Odds: EAs Triumph in Defending EA Practice Rights in Nevada

The Nevada Society of Enrolled Agents (NVSEA) challenged the July 1, 2017, enactment of Nevada Assembly Bill 324 (AB 324), which captured enrolled agents under the state’s definition of “document preparation service.” Nevada First Judicial District Court Judge James Wilson... Justin Edwards

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Championing Taxpayer Rights

NAEA continues its advocacy and relationship- building efforts with tax writers and other key policymakers through the remainder of the 115th Congress. IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson keynoted the July 30 plenary session at the NAEA National Conference, facilitating a Q&A session on IRS reform and tax administration issues. During her most recent annual report to Congress, she debuted a new publication, Te Purple... Justin Edwards

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Is IRS Ready to Implement Tax Reform?

While some of us are still recovering from our sunburns at the beach, many of us are looking at the shorter days and are beginning to worry if IRS has enough time to fully implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in time for the 2019 filing season. Guidance, in the form of proposed regulations, notices, and forms and instructions, has certainly been helpful and much appreciated, but not having finalized these items is getting danger... Jeffery S. Trinca, JD

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The Sweet Smell of Victory

NAEA held its tenth annual Fly-In Day on May 15. One hundred enrolled agents proudly marched forth to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected representatives to discuss three major issues of importance to the EA profession: IRS budget reform, minimum standards for return preparers, and the Electronic Signature Standards Act. This year, IRS reform has gained bipartisan traction on Capitol Hill, something that has been a ra... Justin Edwards

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Tax Reform Implementation Recommendations to IRS

Tax Reform Implementation Recommendations to IRS By Justin Edwards After nearly a year of continued efforts, and at the urging of the White House, House and Senate Republicans shepherded the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) through both chambers, and the president signed the measure into law days before the Christmas holiday. Obviously, the Internal Revenue Code has... Justin Edwards

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Setting the Stage for 2018

While 2017 was quite the roadshow spectacle in terms of the smattering of challenges and events enrolled agents encountered and should remember for years to come, NAEA continues to stand tall on behalf of the EA profession while powering its members. As you navigate the maze of a busy fling season, Congress is ramping up its efforts to reform the Service with a newly appointed commissioner (NAEA believes a successor will b... Justin Edwards

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Last Call: EA License Renewals

You’ve had an amazing year and your business is growing. Everything is going grEAt for you in 2018. You’ve just finished up the first part of the filing season, you’ve taken care of a swarm of your last-minute filers, you’ve attended the NAEA Fly-in in May to advocate on behalf of the EA profession in Washington, and you’re making the ultimate summer plans for June. EA License Renewals Due January 31 Where will y... Justin Edwards

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Tis the Season

We each have our own sign that the holiday season has officially begun. For some, it is going to the mall and battling the crowds on Black Friday or seeing the decorations popping up like mushrooms. For others, it ’s the sound of holiday music piped into public spaces. On Capitol Hill, the season to be jolly officially began on October 1: the start of the new fiscal year for the federal government. Why October 1? Because ever... Jeffery S. Trinca, JD

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Ask Congress to Support the Electronic Signature Standards Act

NAEA had an action-packed summer, advocating on behalf of more than 53,000 enrolled agents across the country. The following are some of the efforts we took part in. PTINs Are Back In the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s June 1 decision in Adam Steele et al. v. the United States of America, the IRS lost the ability to charge user fees for the issuance and renewal of preparer tax identification num... Justin Edwards

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Building Opportunities During a Critical Time for Reform

With tax reform being one of the hottest topics in the new 115th Congress and with the new presidential administration, NAEA was thrilled to have a seat at the table by hosting NAEA’s ninth annual Fly-in in Washington, DC, on May 17. Nearly 90 enrolled agents traveled far and wide to attend the most important advocacy event of the year, when EAs from 33 states made it to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected representatives and thei... Justin Edwards

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NAEA Joins Forces with the CPAs and Lawyers to Outline Reforms for the IRS

It is not often that there is consensus among the associations representing tax practitioners regulated under Circular 230. In fact, it might be unprecedented. The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) has joined forces with the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) with support from the Tax Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), along with groups representing both Circular 230 practitioners and the unenrolled. The produ... Jeffery S. Trinca, JD

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Your Brand

We talk frequently about what it means to be a tax professional in general, and more specifically, what it means to be an enrolled agent, which this organization has rather cleverly branded as “America’s tax expert.” Jeff Bezos (of Amazon CEO fame) once famously quipped, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” True for a multibillion-dollar, game-changing from and true for us, too. ... Robert Kerr

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Embalm, Cremate, Bury at Sea

In this column, we return to the topics we’ve discussed before. This is not because I’m suffering from writer’s block (heaven forbid!). It is because the topics are critical for the enrolled agent profession, and members need to be adequately focused Let’s start with security. I recently had the pleasure of sitting on a panel at a tax industry meeting here in DC. The Council for Electronic Revenue Communications Advancem... Robert Kerr

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Bad Company Ruins Good Morals

As 2016 draws to a close, I’m going to wrap up with a laundry list of items that trouble me (and I’ll omit my thinning hair and expanding waistline—though those also trouble me): security; user fees; Circular 230; and, unavoidably, the election. Let’s take these one at a time. While the Magic 8 Ball has been in the shop for more months than I can count, I’m going out on a limb to prognosticate that the most significant E... Robert Kerr

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The Courage to Change the Things We Can

As I write this, we are fresh off of our eighth annual Fly-In Day. The promised rain never came to dampen our spirits, and nearly 100 EA advocates were trained and primed. The enrolled agent message was clear and consistent. I am amazed—and humbled—every year by the dedication and enthusiasm of our EA advocates (please see photographs on pages 8 and 9, as well as on NAEA’s Facebook page), all of whom made their way to D.C.... Robert Kerr

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The Conditions are Always Impossible

The trouble with filing season is that it becomes difficult to communicate with our members, many of whom are busier than a one-armed paper hanger. That said— and I get it, of course—lots of tax policy and tax administration news comes to the fore during the eleven or so weeks enrolled agents are preparing their clients’ returns. We’ll touch on just a few items you may have missed… Let’s lead with good news. Because of the... Robert Kerr

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Do What You Can

Two thousand sixteen. We are another year older and (I hope) another year wiser. We are also on the cusp of yet another filing season. If all played out in DC as we forecasted, Congress at the tail end of 2015 punted on the entire tax extender package. Unfortunately, EAs are used to this maneuver because this will be the third year out of the last four in which Congress has not seen fit to provide untold numbers of individ... Robert Kerr