Showing posts with label licensing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label licensing. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tax Talk - Part 2

Good Tuesday evening to all…

This is later then what I planned on, but not feeling well today…

In Mondays post I gave some background to the possible people that could do tax preparation work. A few links to read and a brief sentence on what the IRS is looking to do.

So the IRS and I do believe others behind the scene, are pushing to have all us tax preparers licensed, certified, registered or give up our livelihood.

As I have stated a few times I have no problem with it – I welcome it, BUT if and when this comes about I want it to be across the board. I want ALL who do or are associated with preparing, examining, questioning, auditing, etc of individuals, businesses, estates, etc. tax returns should have eventually the same license or classification. Doesn't that just seem fair?

That includes CPAs, public accountants, bookkeepers, foreign country tax sweat shops, McHenry workers, tax store franchise owners, etc. Also EVERYONE that works for the IRS from Mr. tax cheat himself Timothy Geithner down to that lonely telephone tax answer person to be required to get licensed also. The reason I say this about IRS workers is because,

Let me stop here and interject a link from the IRS job application site:

Internal Revenue Agent

If you read under Qualifications & Evaluations section for the first Internal Revenue Agent GS 05/11 (GS-05 is the lowest position available) you will see NO, NADA, NOTHING about having to have tax knowledge to get this position. Everything listed under A,B,or C and D qualification list has to do with just accounting, no taxes. As you get higher on grade level you still will not find TAXES, you will find “analyze business operations and financial conditions”, “Experience in interpreting and applying professional accounting and auditing techniques and practices”, etc.

Now you will find a part up near the top called: MANDATORY TRAINING, under that it state that you will get 1 week of orientation, apprx. 3-7 weeks of classroom training and 10-16 weeks of on-the-job training. IT’s does not say what kind of training, one could only hope that it involves TAXES??????

So, now these accounting people are telling us lonely little, independent tax preparers, who probably have more tax schooling in our baby finger that we need licenses, tax certification. ROFLOL!

The IRS has a special tax helpline for tax preparers who are stuck for an answer on a tax question. If everyone is not on the same level playing field and same rule book, there would be no sense of me having to go to class, get tested and licensed, yearly up-dated testing, etc. to practice tax prep. Work, only to have to call IRS help line and try to get tax answers from an un-licensed, un-certified, un-tested IRS worker. No sense at all.

To make this short so I can go lay down, I want the license, I want the certification, I want the yearly mandatory classes (which I do now), I also want everyone else to too.

I try with the best of my ability to provide to my clients the best I can give them, that’s why I already go to tax classes, read journals, blogs, seminars, etc. If licensing becomes part of that I will do that also.

All I ask is, if your going to play the tax game, then make it equal and honest for all who do.

I don't expect anything to happen this year, except for some forums, bantering and suggestions,etc. Next year is when it probably will be all written down, layed out and implemented. So we will wait and see...

Thank you & lets be careful out there.

Tom

Monday, July 27, 2009

TdF, Tax Talk & the Cake Lady

Good Monday morning to all!

Hope you got out and played or gardened or at least relaxed a bit over this weekend?

TdF is over, Lance wound up taking 3rd place overall in his comeback and looking forward to next year with team Radio Shack. Alberto Contrador I don’t think will get another Tour victory as long as Lance’s eyes are on him…

Tax News:

If some of you haven’t been keeping up with tax land news there is a push being made to eventually (probably in another year or so) make all tax preparers get certified/registered and /or licensed. I have no problem with that! I have nothing to lose and a lot to actually gain by doing so.

The problem I have is if and when this comes about it might not be equal to all who work in the associated tax industry. So let me give you some back ground in this post and then in tomorrows post I’ll continue.

Some background: you basically have 5 groups of people in the US who prepare taxes, CPA’s, EA’s, un-enrolled tax preparers, your cousin Guido, and you. You could also throw in tax lawyers.

I know some CPAs and also have fixed some CPAs messes that they made for some of my clients. In my book, CPAs are just what the letters stand for – certified public ACCOUNTANTS who main business is accounting not taxes. In fact if you go to any college and look at the courses you need to become a CPA – you’ll see it to be about 98% accounting stuff (ledgers, accounts receivable, accounts payable, profit & loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow, etc.) and 2% taxes courses. But yet for some strange wacko way of thinking, the general public thinks that CPAs are top notch tax people. Yes, you have some who do take the time and up-date themselves on new tax laws, etc. but in my book them are far and few between. I know some personal friends who are accountants and they will tell you right off THEY HATE DOING TAXES! So if they have that attitude do you really think their going to do the best they can for you?

EA’s are Enrolled Agents. (This is what I am presently studying for) An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of practicing that is, representing taxpayers, before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled agents are generally unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can practice before. Basically you have to go through tax studies, classes, testing and 3 part exam to become one. Or if you have enough years of knowledge behind you, you can just exam out, but it’s hard.
I know 2 EA’s and their good, problem with EA’s is they tend to focus on people who owe back taxes (J K Harris ring a bell) as that can be big bucks for them…

Un-enrolled paid tax preparers are an open group; This group would include those who work in the McHenry type tax offices, assistants to CPAs, private individuals and/or companies, etc. The mass majority of them are honest, hardworking people who go to constant yearly tax up-dates and schooling, etc. they treat their tax clients professionally. They register and get their PTIN (Preparer Taxpayer Identification Number) from the IRS. (At the present, I would be classified as such person.) But on the other hand, you also have to throw in here any one who thinks they can make a quick buck by hanging a sign, opening up a store front and conning people into taking illegal deductions, padded payrolls, additional exemptions, etc. Their have many CPAs and some EAs also caught with their hands in the cookie jar one too mant times. Of course you have cheats in all other businesses also, so the tax industry is not special when it comes to cheats and frauds, as we have seen with all the bailouts this past year.

Cousin Guido, you have him do your taxes because he has always done them for sister Lucy and Lucy always gets a refund.

You, your tired of paying of paying McHenrys $200 for 30 minutes of work, you don’t trust Guido, and for $49.95 Turbo Tax will set you right up and get you that $2,500 refund.

So there you have it. Now because of the ease of which frauds and cheats can ply their trade against the IRS and public – the talks and meetings that are going to take place shortly with the IRS, public and tax preparers will eventually come to some formal requirement for tax preparers as I mention above, to be licensed or certified, etc.

Read This for more...

Tuesday evenings post I will discuss my problems and reservations I have about this.

Cake Lady:

Last week A story out of North New Jersey sprang across the news wires about some lady who was like $7,500 behind in house payments and came up with the idea of baking apple pies and selling them for $40 a piece to raise the money. Anyways, she just wanted to sell 100 and somehow the major newswires got hold of it and by weeks end she had orders for 500 pies @ $40 a piece… People are amazing! Here’s the story and read the comment section for yours truly…

Thank you & let’s be careful out there…

Tom