Turn! Turn! Turn!
President's Message

Turn! Turn! Turn!

With apologies to The Byrds, Pete Seeger, and King Solomon, the year 2020 underscores the notion that for everything there is a season! And I suggest that for NAEA, we may have reaped the harvest of what we have sown over the past almost 50 years and for the tax industry,... Donald Rosenberg, EA

Hard Stops at IRS Provide Hard Lessons for Practitioners
Capitol Corner

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

Creating a Taxpayer-Focused Internal Revenue Service
Capitol Corner

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

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

Understanding the Complexity and Confusion Over Internal Revenue Code Section 199A
Feature Article

Understanding the Complexity and Confusion Over Internal Revenue Code Section 199A

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a 20 percent qualified business income (QBI) deduction for non-C corporation businesses. On August 16, 2018, the IRS, as part of the rulemaking process inherent to administrative law, opened the proposed ... Christine Kuglin, EA, JD

Simple Solutions for a Better Tax System
Capitol Corner

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
Capitol Corner

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

Capitol Corner

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

Feature Article

The IRS Revenue Officer: Friend or Foe?

It is likely you will encounter an IRS revenue officer who is difficult, unyielding, and possibly aggressive. You may perceive that the revenue officer's job is to make your and your client’s lives difficult. However, the truth is very different. Sure, a collection case making its way to a revenue officer is deemed serious by the IRS. After all, revenue officers are the IRS’s most experienced and sophisticated collection agents. Their foc... Howard S. Levy, JD

Capitol Corner

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

Feature Article

An Introduction to the Internal Revenue Manual

As a tax professional, what do you do when you encounter a client who has a problem or an issue which you have limited familiarity with or experience with? Do you prefer the client to another practitioner? Do you contact a colleague (or post a question in a forum) and hope that any advice that you receive will be sound? Or do you tell the client that you will do some additional research on the issue and get back to him? Your course of act... John G. (“Jack”) Wood, EA

Feature Article

Indirect Methods of Proving Income

Did you know the IRS requires its agents to perform a minimum income probe on every audit? And did you know that a minimum income probe can result in the IRS agent using indirect methods of proving income? If you have a client who is being audited—and even if you don’t—it is to your advantage to learn everything you can about indirect methods of proving income. Minimum income probes are discussed as part of the examination process governed... Jo-Ann Weiner, 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

Reading the Internal Revenue Code

Why would anyone subject themselves to reading the Internal Revenue Code? It’s not exactly a spellbinding novel, or even an interesting nonfiction work on your favorite topic, unless your favorite topic is tax law. When most people think of the Code, they think of it as being an impenetrable morass of legalese gobbledygook, more useful as a cure for insomnia than a practical resource for the tax professional. But being able to effecti... Carolyn Richardson, EA

Feature Article

Preparing For The New IRS Partnership Audit Rules

Partnerships and entities taxed as a partnership, such as certain limited liability companies (LLCs), have become a popular entity choice for doing business over the past 50 years. This tax structure offers business owners significant benefits, including taxation at only the partner level. Another benefit that often goes unnoticed is that very few partnerships are audited by the IRS. Moreover, when the IRS engages in a partnership audit, t... Travis Greaves, JD, Josh Wu, JD

2015 and 2016 Key Numbers

Single TAX RATES20152016 10% bracket tops at 9,225 9,275 15% bracket tops at 37,450 37,650 25% bracket tops at 90,750 91,150 28% bracket tops at 189,300 190,150 33% b... David Mellem, 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