Life’s Chapters
My EA Journey

Life’s Chapters

Life has its chapters. The enrolled agent (EA) license started my professional chapter and it is still in progress. We, EAs, never stop learning... I am not going to say I drifted in life because all of the other chapters prior came full circle in my ongoing professional chapter. Let’s go ... Ruth Ann Michnay, EA, CPA, USTCP

Five Best Practices for Nonprofit Accounting in a Pandemic
Expert Notes

Five Best Practices for Nonprofit Accounting in a Pandemic

There are some best practices that should be followed to ensure a nonprofit organization’s accounting needs are not only met, but maximized. Despite their diligence, nonprofit organizations are often the victims of accounting mistakes or fraud. By implementing a few best practic... Jon Osterburg, Jitasa

The Road Ahead
Editor's Message

The Road Ahead

As the newly appointed editor-in-chief of the EA Journal, I wanted to write to introduce myself to the readership and give a brief overview of my vision for EA Journal over the next several years. I have been in the tax field since 2009, earning my Master of Science in... Thomas Gorczynski, EA, USTCP

I Am an Enrolled Agent
My EA Journey

I Am an Enrolled Agent

After college in 1989, I had to move back in with my parents because, let's face it, who is going to hire a 21 year-old with no experience being part of a team? And my degree was in communication, a double-whammy when it came to corporate governance in the 90s. I was feeling sorry for myself, ... Cheryl Williams, EA

The Road Less Traveled
My EA Journey

The Road Less Traveled

My tax journey started in 2008. I was 29 years old, and living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, near my hometown of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, working in student services at the University of Pennsylvania. I was a student leader in college, both during undergraduate and graduate studies at the Un... Thomas A. Gorczynski, EA, USTCP

Planning for the Future
My EA Journey

Planning for the Future

When I was young—18—and attending my local community and state college, I also had a part-time job typing financial records for Stanford University. These documents listed every location on the university’s campus with corresponding columns of numbers and totals. Accuracy was paramount. T... Jean Nelsen, EA

EA Exam Review Pass Faster with a Personalized Approach to Studying
Practice Builder

EA Exam Review Pass Faster with a Personalized Approach to Studying

Studying for the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) can be an extensive process that, for many aspiring enrolled agents (EAs), can take hundreds of hours. Why should you take the exam? Because earning the enrolled agent credential grants you the privilege of representing ta... Lauren Nilssen

My Path to Becoming an EA
My EA Journey

My Path to Becoming an EA

So how does a woman with a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering become an enrolled agent (EA)? As I often remind people, your school decisions at 18 years old should not lock you in for life. Mine did not. After spending years as an engineer, I decided to... Beth Logan, EA

The Power of Building Relationships
My EA Journey

The Power of Building Relationships

My entrance into the tax industry began like so many others, in that it really was not my chosen field. My college education was in business computer information systems. After college, I went to work in the retail industry never utilizing my passion and skills. During the year prior to enter... Timothy W. Adams, EA

Capitol Corner

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

More than Initials Behind My Name
My EA Journey

More than Initials Behind My Name

My enrolled agent (EA) journey began in 1995. At the nudging of my wife, I took a basic income tax course at a local box retailer. The topics, mainly the calculations, intrigued me, and by the end of the course, my confidence in tax preparation was high. I worked at the retailer f... James Roberson, Jr.

The Dollars and “Sense” of Accounts Payable Automation: How Cost Savings Translate Directly to the Bottom Line
Tax Tech

The Dollars and “Sense” of Accounts Payable Automation: How Cost Savings Translate Directly to the Bottom Line

There is no doubt that finance and accounting leaders are realizing the value of automating their invoice and payment (AP) processing workflows. In fact, an impressive 84 percent of accounts payable practitioners are optimistic about the progress their department will make ove... Laurent Charpentier

Increasing Enrolled Agent Awareness – Let’s Do This
President's Message

Increasing Enrolled Agent Awareness – Let’s Do This

About a year ago, I received a letter from a client that began as follows: “Dear Jerry, First of all, congratulations on being elected to the position of President of the NAEA! It confirms our faith in choosing you as our CPA!” I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry – and I’m sure yo... Jerry Gaddis, EA, MBA

Practice Management Tips for the Modern Accountant
Practice Builder

Practice Management Tips for the Modern Accountant

A productive firm requires a stable foundation for its internal procedures, employee development, and work tools. Having a well-developed plan will enable your practice to achieve its goals, now and in the future. Respect Your Time (or No One Else Will) The ... Thomas J. Williams, EA

The Rise of the Tax Technologist
Tax Tech

The Rise of the Tax Technologist

The demand for tax professionals who can handle technical and scientific details and can act as true partners and advisors to the business is stronger than ever in today’s complex enterprises. Audi. BMW. Daimler. We know what business these companies are in, right? But look... Kate Barton

We SpEAk Tax
My EA Journey

We SpEAk Tax

Our meeting with the Internal Revenue Service agent was wrapping up. Sitting in the chair next to my husband, our two-year-old on my lap, I felt helpless. I knew it would take us years to pay the balance, especially with penalties and interest. All of the horror stories I had heard about ... Kesha M. Dawson Harris, EA, NTPIF, Mrs. Harris

Conflict of Interest
Tax Court

Conflict of Interest

Clark J. Gebman and Rebecca Gebman v. Commissioner T.C. Memo. 2017-184) Even if we never practice in the U.S. Tax Court, as taxpayer representatives we must always be aware of our ethical duties. This is especially true when representing a husband and wife who previously filed a ... Sherrill Trovato, EA, USTCP

Ethical Due Diligence – Self Cancelling Terms
Feature Article

Ethical Due Diligence – Self Cancelling Terms

Due diligence. Two little words with oversized implications for tax professionals. In most cases, under the due diligence guidelines set forth in Circular 230, tax professionals can rely on the representations of their clients without having to verify the accuracy or veracity of those rep... Dave Du Val, EA

Cryptocurrency Tax Preparation: Ethics Nightmare
Feature Article

Cryptocurrency Tax Preparation: Ethics Nightmare

"Who makes more money: the general practitioner doctor or the specialist spine surgeon?" Consultants love to ask that question, as part of recommending that tax professionals specialize our services. And, yes, we must admit: the question is a valid one. Specialists often do enjoy str... Andy Frye, EA; Joshua Azran, CPA

My EA Journey
My EA Journey

My EA Journey

For me, like many others, becoming an enrolled agent was a second career. It started with a part-time seasonal job preparing taxes while I continued my full-time career as an elementary music teacher. I began studying for the SEE exam and became an enrolled agent the following summer. Membership in NAEA and par...

OPR Radar (for how long?)
Feature Article

OPR Radar (for how long?)

You have been a licensed tax professional representing your clients before IRS for many years. On a current controversial complex case, unknown to you, the IRS agent you have been working with files a “Report of Suspected Practitioner Misconduct” with the Office of Professional Responsibilit... Ruth Ann Michnay, EA, CPA, USTCP

The enrolled agent’s life is one to live! Pick a life and jump in.
My EA Journey

The enrolled agent’s life is one to live! Pick a life and jump in.

My enrolled agent career started in 1987 when I received my master’s degree in accounting and finance from Regis University. Working at my own practice, JCP Financial, Inc., has been a wonderful ride of helping people with the many questions that arise on how to file their ... Carlton P. Johnson, Jr., EA, MBA

Increasing Business through Social Media
Practice Builder

Increasing Business through Social Media

It seems that every time I talk to other tax professionals, they are worried about the changes in our industry and what is coming on the horizon. I know of four seasoned professionals who have retired primarily because they do not want to deal with the tax code changes i... Jennifer Brown, EA

My EA Journey
My EA Journey

My EA Journey

I started on the path to becoming an enrolled agent (EA) in 2004 when I took an H&R Block tax training course. I was newly married and had purchased my first house, so I thought that taking a tax preparation class would help me to understand my own financial situation better. I fell ... Steven Heeley, EA

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

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

Feature Article

Become Americas Advanced Tax Expert

BECOME AMERICA’S ADVANCED TAX EXPERT BY Mary Sunderland, EA, USTCP & Bill Nemeth, EA Do you want to stand out as a tax practitioner? Are you confident that you offer the latest and best tax advice to your clients? Do you want to grow your business by taking on more complicated tax returns and representation clients? Do you want to know the tax experts in these areas? ... Mary Sunderland, EA, USTCP

Feature Article

Due Diligence: It’s Not Just About EITC Anymore!

Due Diligence IT'S NOT ABOUT EITC ANYMORE By Kathy Morgan, EA, USTCP How many of you are starting to feel like we work for the IRS, “pre-auditing” clients for them? As grEAt tax professionals, the rock that we stand on has always been and will always be our integrity. However, just how much must we scrutinize our clients’ information to meet our obligations to the IRS, our clients’ well-b... Kathy Morgan, EA, USTCP

Feature Article

Governors From 22 States Issue “Enrolled Agent Week” Proclamations

GOVERNERS OF 22 STATES ISSUES ENROLLED AGENT WEEK PROCLAMATIONS By John Michaels Every year, representatives from NAEA state societies across America ask the governor from their respective state to help kick off filing season by issuing a proclamation declaring the first week in February “Enrolled Agent Week.” We ask for these proclamations in an effort to help educate the public about th... John Michaels

Feature Article

Is Merely Following Circular 230 Good Enough

Is Merely Following Circular 230 Good Enough? David J. Silverman, EA, In the years since the Of fice of Professional Responsibility began requiring enrolled agents to complete annually two credits of continuing education in ethics or professional conduct, not one seminar I have attended on these topics has gone beyond what is stated in Circular 230. Some tax practitioners might seek com... David J. Silverman, EA

Feature Article

How I Got Into Tax and Why I Love It

When I was in high school, my 11th-grade English teacher noticed that I wrote really well and loved to read, but I was getting a D in her class. She determined that I was bored and wasn’t being challenged. So, I was moved to Honors English. My first day in Honors English we were given the assignment to write a short story. At the time, I was reading a lot of Clive Barker novels, and I wrote a 25-page story called “Meat Loc... Craig W. Smalley, EA

Feature Article

Educating America Growth of a Movement

As with most great ideas, the idea to promote the enrolled agent (EA) license to students and administrators at two and four-year colleges did not begin with one person. When several NAEA leaders independently recognized the high demand for licensed tax professionals, they also recognized that this required additional education for current college accounting majors to ensure that they could fill this demand. This created the perfect opportuni... Andrew “Andy” Stadler, EA

Feature Article

Superchange Your Career in Tax: Become an EA

If you are considering a career in tax, there is no time like the present to obtain your enrolled agent (EA) license. EAs are America’s tax experts, and they are the only federally licensed tax preparers who also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. Unlike some professional certifications, you can become an EA before you complete your degree, and there are many advantages in doing so. Start Now To become ...

Feature Article

Cyber Security For Tax Professionals

In the “Capitol Corner” column of the January/February 2017 EA Journal, Robert Kerr acknowledged that enrolled agents “did not become enrolled agents because of a deep and abiding passion for information technology, firewall construction, and/or secure remote access.” Kerr, however, added a warning to tax practitioners not to delude themselves: “The bad guys are out there, and they are after information that modestly sized practices h... Marshall J. Heap EA

Feature Article

Why Clients Hire Us to Represent Them

ONEDAY. I was meeting with a revenue agent (RA), representing a client during an audit. The office was set up with cubicles, and it was easy to hear what was going on in the cubicle next to me. I happened to hear a taxpayer who was representing herself while another RA was raking her over the coals. The RA who was helping me went off to make photocopies as I heard this lady begin to sob. I mean, the RA was really handing it to her. I got u... Craig W. Smalley, EA

Feature Article

Ethics Rules, Penalties, and the Tax Preparers Engagement Letter

Perhaps one of the most important, but also one of the most overlooked, parts of the 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return is the section near the bottom of the second page that states: “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return and accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct and accurately list all amounts and sources of income I received duri... Anthony Santullo, EA

Feature Article

Using Your Website and Social Media to Gain Clients

Websites and social media are great ways to attract younger clientele to your business. In our digitally interconnected age, it is imperative to have a website that is more than an online business card. Here are five tips for an effective website: 1. A modern website must be mobile-friendly. In a world where there are more mobile devices than there are people on Earth, it is essential that your website be mobile-friendly. What e... Jennifer Brown, EA

Feature Article

Gearing Up For Tax Season Promote Your Practice and Your Credential

Autumn is the perfect time to begin promoting yourself and your EA credential in preparation for the upcoming tax season. Many members already know that NAEA provides tools to help them attract new clients and raise awareness of their EA credential, but many may not know that these tools are regularly refreshed. It’s time to take another look. Last year, NAEA formed a new partnership to present the improved “Find a Tax Expert... Gigi Jarvis, CAE

Feature Article

My EA Journey

I think I truly fell in love with taxation my sophomore year of college. At this point, I had already declared accounting as my major at Montclair State University. After years of working with my mom during tax season and after my first “Taxation of Individuals” class with a near perfect GPA, I was convinced that I would follow in my mom’s footsteps. Taxation was the career path I would choose. I decided after my four years at Mon... Brianna Antonelli, EA

Feature Article

Walking the Tight Rope

NINE STEPS TO MAKE YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS FROM RUNNING AFOUL OF CIRCULAR 230 Marketing your business is a critical skill to develop for bringing in customers and preventing violations of the tricky regulations surrounding how we represent ourselves before the public. Frequently, there are posts on social media groups about how best to market our businesses, yet few responses ever mention the legalities. Most areas of Circular 230 ha... Crystal Stranger, EA

Feature Article

The IRM: A Resource for the EA

It may not make the New York Times best seller list (and it certainly would not be light reading while waiting for a plane at the airport) but the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) can be an extremely useful document for enrolled agents in their dealings with the Internal Revenue Service. The Freedom of Information Act at 5 USC 552(a)(2)(c) requires agencies to make staff instructions available to the public. Frank X. Degen, EA, USTCP