A Blueprint for the Future
President's Message

A Blueprint for the Future

On a recent hiking trip, I came across a tree reaching at least 40 feet into the sky and growing on top of a rock that stood at least three times taller than me. As I stood in awe, I noticed the tree’s roots. While the majestic tree grew strong on top of this... Kathy Brown, EA

Sharing a Common Purpose
My EA Journey

Sharing a Common Purpose

I was the first in my family to go to college and I had no idea what to study. I was good at math and science. At one point, I dreamed of building roads and bridges in remote places and considered engineering. Fortunately... David Tolleth, EA

The Fight Continues Today and Every Day
EVP Message

The Fight Continues Today and Every Day

The success in Minnesota was a big win for enrolled agents (EAs). For two years, the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) worked with various state agencies, lobbyists, attorneys, and other stakeholders to reverse a mistake that would have been detrimental to the ...

The Time to Make Business Shifts Is Now
Editor's Message

The Time to Make Business Shifts Is Now

Before you know it, it will be time to wrap up extension returns. Then once those are out the door, you will start gearing up for the next tax season. I believe November is too late to consider significant shifts for the upcoming tax season. It would help if you beg... Thomas Gorczynski, EA, USTCP

Insurance Claims that Can Ruin Your Tax Preparation Business
Practice Builder

Insurance Claims that Can Ruin Your Tax Preparation Business

Tax preparers and enrolled agents have significant legal exposures. Consider some of the potential claims you might face and how professional liability insurance can help you mitigate them. “Nothing ... Lauren Pitonyak

Deciphering a Law: An Introductory Learning Module
Legal Issues

Deciphering a Law: An Introductory Learning Module

Tax laws are often hard to comprehend, making it an unwelcome task. Even seasoned practitioners find themselves pouring over well-settled areas of the tax code. It can be a demanding a... Thomas J. Williams, EA, and Iris K. Palma, JD

Our Job Is to Ask and Listen
President's Message

Our Job Is to Ask and Listen

It is an honor to be serving as the president for the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) this year. I have been involved with the NAEA in many ways over the years, having served on various committees and the board of directors. I have watched the ... Kathy Brown, EA

Cyber Insurance — Do You Have Adequate Limits?
Tax Tech

Cyber Insurance — Do You Have Adequate Limits?

Many insurance companies now offer cyber insurance as a part of their business package policies with available limits ranging between $25,000 to $50,000. Typically considered add-on coverage, this protection appears t... Robert G. Moody and George J. Kolczun, Jr.

Providing a Positive Difference
My EA Journey

Providing a Positive Difference

About 12 years ago I landed what I thought was the perfect job for me at a company I had long admired. You might be wondering, “What was the job and for which company?” Here is on... Jonathan B. Call, EA

Taxes and Disco at the Summer Event
EVP Message

Taxes and Disco at the Summer Event

The national conference was one of the National Association of Enrolled Agents’ (NAEA) signature events for years. Drawing, at its height, close to 800 attendees, it was the event for education, networking, and (even) a little bit of fun. In 2022, we are bringing back al... Megan Killian

Using Technology to Build Relationships
Tax Tech

Using Technology to Build Relationships

No one gets into business wanting to do sales. However, as a firm owner, you quickly realize it is a part of the job. With no customers, there would be no revenue, so you search high and low to find tho... Nayo Carter-Gray, EA

The Key to Success
My EA Journey

The Key to Success

Like so many colleagues, my enrolled agent (EA) journey began through a series of random forks in the road and some fortunate stumbles into opportunities. Career by happenstance, I suppose, but I also hear my father’s words of advice rattling aro... Jennifer MacMillan, EA

Health and Wellness During Busy Season
EVP Message

Health and Wellness During Busy Season

It may not seem like a priority when you have deadlines, client demands, family obligations, and other priorities right now, but consider adding self-care to your priority list. If the last two years has any silver linings, it is the increasing awareness of mental and ph... Megan Killian

“We’ve Always Done It This Way” Is Not the Future of the NAEA
President's Message

“We’ve Always Done It This Way” Is Not the Future of the NAEA

You cannot say we were not warned. Both Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said this filing season would once again be rocky. For once they did not disappoint. My friends and colleagues in my state affiliate are emailing, calling, and meeting together r... David Tolleth, EA

Lessons from Another Difficult Tax Season
Editor's Message

Lessons from Another Difficult Tax Season

We are amid our third difficult tax season in a row: 2020 gave us the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act; 2021 gave us the Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021, and the American Rescue Plan Act; and 2022 continues the aftermath of all these tax laws... Thomas Gorczynski, EA, USTCP

Earning Recognition
My EA Journey

Earning Recognition

Right out of college, I was offered my first job in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster. About three years into my role, a position opened in the Accounting Department at the company. With the recommendation of my boss, I applied. Since I h... Nicole Green, EA, NTPI Fellow®

A Social Media Primer for Busy Enrolled Agents
Feature Article

A Social Media Primer for Busy Enrolled Agents

Not on social media? Feel like you are too old or not techy enough? Have an established practice and do not think it is necessary to engage with your community or outside your immediate circle? Even experienced enrolled agen... Amber Gray-Fenner, EA

Every Taxpayer Deserves Tax Planning
Editor's Message

Every Taxpayer Deserves Tax Planning

As I write this column, it appears major tax changes are on the horizon as Congress debates a reconciliation bill that has the potential of significantly raising taxes on households making $400,000 while providing many additional tax benefits to those who make less than t... Thomas Gorczynski, EA, USTCP

Cyber Insurance: What Am I Getting for My Money?
Tax Tech

Cyber Insurance: What Am I Getting for My Money?

Along with everything else, the cost of insurance continues to rise. Because of the surge in cyber hacking claims, insurance companies have no choice but to raise their premiums. CFC, the underwriting company for the National Association of E... Robert G. Moody and George J. Kolczun, Jr.

Being the “Bestest” Tax Nerd You Can Be
My EA Journey

Being the “Bestest” Tax Nerd You Can Be

I became enamored with taxes at a very early age. I will forever be thankful to my math teacher in junior high school who introduced me to taxes. For two weeks, a long table was strewn with piles of tax forms. I can still remember the wonderful smell of m... Robin Gervais, EA

Winning at the Tax Planning Game
Expert Notes

Winning at the Tax Planning Game

Tax planning is like playing a game with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)—they hand us a rule book, we have to follow their rules, and if your client overpays in taxes, you lose. If you can play by the rules and find savings for your clients... Duke Alexander Moore, EA

Setting the Path
EVP Message

Setting the Path

Like many organizations, the pandemic has forced the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) to reassess, reprioritize, and reimagine. Business as usual has been disrupted on all levels: from the way we collaborate and communicate as a team internally to how we engag... Megan Killian

The Role Technology Plays in Your Practice
Feature Article

The Role Technology Plays in Your Practice

Wikipedia has defined technology as "the sum of any techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation.” As a n... Nayo Carter-Gray, EA

Flying the EA Flag
My EA Journey

Flying the EA Flag

My enrolled agent (EA) journey is probably different from many others. My journey began in 1991, about 15 years into my 22-year United States Air Force career. My squadron commander asked me to take on an additional duty as the unit’s tax advisor. And by “additional ... Brian D. Prucey, EA

NAEA Members Win Big in Vegas
EVP Message

NAEA Members Win Big in Vegas

More than 150 National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) members and guests braved the Las Vegas heat in July to attend the Special Topics Workshop, our first live event in 19 months. Some came for the content, some came for the location, but almost everyone came for th... Megan Killian

Why Your Marketing Message Needs to Be Updated This Year
Practice Builder

Why Your Marketing Message Needs to Be Updated This Year

When was the last time you updated your marketing message? You may not know how or what to craft into a compelling message. You are a tax professional not a marketer. But you are also a business owner running a business… i... Janel Sykora

From Expat to Entrepreneur to EA
My EA Journey

From Expat to Entrepreneur to EA

I did not know it at the time, but my enrolled agent (EA) journey began in 2002 when my wife, Carrie, and I moved from the United States to Barcelona to pursue our Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. When we graduated in 2004, we... David McKeegan, EA

Do No Harm
Expert Notes

Do No Harm

As someone who has been in the tax game for over 40 years and exclusively in the world of international tax for the last 18 years, my company has flourished and prospered on the mistakes of others. In 2013, when I... Mary Beth Lougen, EA, USTCP

What Is Tax Technology?
Tax Tech

What Is Tax Technology?

There is a sea change happening in the tax industry: Where the focus was once on compliance, it is now about value—ensuring fair taxes are being paid, managing tax risk, evaluating the tax consequences of business activities, and more. Underlying this shift to a more... Brandon Van Volkenburgh

The Elephant in the Room: Human Errors and Tax Notices
Practice Builder

The Elephant in the Room: Human Errors and Tax Notices

Humans make mistakes – it is a fact. And it is also the one thing that all tax preparers have in common. Transposition errors, excluding important numbers, forgetting to check a box, or duplicating an entry – all of these mistakes are prevalent in the ind... Patrick (Pat) Roberts, CPA

From Hero to Zero in 60 Seconds or Less
Feature Article

From Hero to Zero in 60 Seconds or Less

The following is a collection of anecdotes from members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents' (NAEA Ethics and Professional Conduct (EP&C) Committee. Names have been changed to preserve the confidentiality of our complainants and respondents. So...

What Is Next?
EVP Message

What Is Next?

There is light at the end of the tunnel. But the pandemic will certainly leave its mark and change how we do things in the future. The slow return to some normalcy is coming, and in some cases, is already here. Hopefully, all of you have seen friends and loved ones you have... Megan Killian

Ethics in Publishing: Cite Your Sources
Expert Notes

Ethics in Publishing: Cite Your Sources

“… citation, the actual process of choosing which papers to cite when writing papers, has largely escaped scrutiny. Like it or not, citations are the currency of success in science.”i Discover magazine noted th... Christine Kuglin, EA

Create Raving Fans
Practice Builder

Create Raving Fans

A tax preparer’s goal should always be to provide excellent service to every client. But going the extra mile will help you create raving fans. A “raving fan,” as developed by Ken Blanchard, is a client who has that “knock your socks off” kind of... Terry M. Judge

Due Diligence: How Do You Do It and How Much Is Enough?
Feature Article

Due Diligence: How Do You Do It and How Much Is Enough?

When I was director of the Office of Professional Responsibility, one of the most frequent questions I received from tax professionals around the country was: "How do I know when I have done enough due diligence?" The ultimate answer: “It depends,” sho... Karen L. Hawkins

A Turning Point
My EA Journey

A Turning Point

I got into the tax business as a means to an end—a way to make decent money without working all year, frankly. My dad and uncle owned and operated a multilocation tax preparation business in the Los Angeles area: Pronto... Andrew Freiburghouse, EA

A Primer on Significant Sections of Circular 230 for the New Practitioner
Feature Article

A Primer on Significant Sections of Circular 230 for the New Practitioner

Circular 230 imposes certain duties and restrictions upon all practitioners.i It also delineates 18 nonexclusive acts of incompetence and disreputable conduct for which a practitioner may be disciplined. If ... Karen L. Hawkins

Can You Work 15-Hour Days and Be Ethical?
Editor's Message

Can You Work 15-Hour Days and Be Ethical?

Enrolled agents, and the tax community as a whole, work too much during tax season, and it puts taxpayers at a disadvantage. I know you may not want to hear this because it is contrary to your business model of jamming eight to 15 tax returns per day into your schedule, six to ...

The Future of NAEA
President's Message

The Future of NAEA

This being my first column as president of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), I want to thank you for entrusting me with this role." A little bit about how I ended up here: I am a transplant from Southern California to New Jersey. My first career wa... David Tolleth, EA

Three Untapped Niches of Opportunity for Your Firm in 2021
Practice Builder

Three Untapped Niches of Opportunity for Your Firm in 2021

Dentistry. Construction. Real estate. Working with clients in these industry verticals can provide your firm with incremental growth. While these niches are certainly solid areas to explore as you look toward increasing your firm’s profitab... Gaynor Meilke

The Will to Succeed
My EA Journey

The Will to Succeed

As a child, I was a refugee, a destitute immigrant, and a member of a family of Holocaust survivors. English was not my first language; perhaps my third, by the time I was 5 years old. I also had a speech impediment and spent years in speec... Eva Rosenberg, EA

Honing Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
EVP Message

Honing Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

The age old axiom, “The only constant in life is change,” is abundantly true. I have had an opportunity to analyze how much NAEA has changed since the spring of 2015 when I moved to another organization. I barely recognize any of the staff. The Board is comprised of many new faces. T... Michael Nelson

The Key Differences Between Media, Analyst, and Influencer Relations
Practice Builder

The Key Differences Between Media, Analyst, and Influencer Relations

Raising awareness around your firm and its offerings should mean more than throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing if it sticks. A strategic public relations (PR) and marketing plan will get you closer to your goal, whether that is recognition... Tanya Amyote

Navigating Tax Groups on Social Media: When Did Tax Become a Contact Sport?
Expert Notes

Navigating Tax Groups on Social Media: When Did Tax Become a Contact Sport?

It has been a rough year and I have seen it all. People who feel beaten up for asking questions and people doing the beating up. People arguing when they do not get the answer they want to hear from other people who are recognized experts on that particular topic. People argui... Amber Gray-Fenner, EA, USTCP

What in the World Is Design Thinking for a Tax Firm?
Practice Builder

What in the World Is Design Thinking for a Tax Firm?

I am sure all of you have heard the term “design thinking” – and probably tossed it aside since design thinking could not possibly relate to tax firms, but you would be wrong. Allow me to start at the beginning by defining design thinking, and then offe... Brandy Jordan