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13/Dec/2021

What Is Ethics?

Ethics, also called moral philosophy, the discipline concerned with what is morally good and bad and morally right and wrong. The term is also applied to any system or theory of moral values or principles.

 

Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct From NAEA

A code of ethics clarifies roles and responsibilities within a profession and provides guidance to the professional for addressing common ethical questions. Members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents recognize the responsibilities of the enrolled agent profession to the people and businesses we serve, and to one another, and believe we should encourage and foster high ethical standards in this profession. We have adopted the following Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct for our constant guidance and inspiration, predicated upon NAEA’s core values. These basic principles provide the foundation for establishing and maintaining all professional relationships. All NAEA members are expected to adhere to a course of conduct which manifests respect, competence, and trust on the part of the general public, businesses, and clients.

 

Continued Education Focused on Ethics

As EAs are expected to maintain a high standard of ethics, their continued education requires that they must focus on ethics. In fact, as stated by the IRS: Enrolled agents must obtain 72 hours of continuing education every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be on ethics. Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider.

 

How Can Being A Member of TxSEA Help Me?

Our organization helps members to stay on top of all of their CE credits, including the credits that focus specifically on ethics. Ethics play a vital role in being an EA because it is important that these tax professionals advocate for the best interest of their clients while still operating in a legal manner. If you are interested in learning more about the CE credits you can earn as a member of our organization reach out to us today.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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07/Dec/2021

When faced with complex tax situations, including gains or losses with virtual currency, you will want to work with a professional for your tax preparation. You may be used to doing your taxes by yourself, or walking into a quick tax service chain, however digital currency can be more tricky. EAs have the knowledge and experience needed to help you with your personal finances and handle your cryptocurrency tax.

 

What Are The Most Popular Digital Currencies?

Bitcoin: Bitcoin is regarded as the first decentralized cryptocurrency using blockchain technology to facilitate payments and digital transactions. Instead of using a central bank to control the supply of money in an economy (like the Federal Reserve in tandem with the U.S. Department of the Treasury) or third parties to verify transactions (such as your local bank, credit card issuer, and the merchant’s bank), Bitcoin’s blockchain acts as a public ledger of all transactions in the history of Bitcoin. That ledger allows a party to prove they own the Bitcoin they’re trying to use and can help prevent fraud and other unapproved tampering of the currency. A decentralized currency can also make peer-to-peer money transfers (like those between parties in two different countries) faster and less-expensive than traditional currency exchanges involving a third-party institution.

Ether (Ethereum): Ether is the token used to facilitate transactions on the Ethereum network. Ethereum is a platform that uses blockchain technology to enable the creation of smart contracts and other decentralized applications (meaning the software doesn’t have to be distributed on app exchanges like Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store or Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) Google Play Store, where they might have to give a 30% cut of any revenue to the tech giants). Thus, Ethereum is both a cryptocurrency (the actual coins are measured in units called Ether) and a software development sandbox.

Binance Coin: Binance Coin is available on the Binance cryptocurrency exchange platform (along with other digital coins that are available for trading). Binance Coin can be used as a type of currency, but it also facilitates tokens that can be used to pay fees on the Binance exchange and to power Binance’s DEX (decentralized exchange) for building apps.

XRP (Ripple): XRP is a digital currency based on the digital payments platform RippleNet, built by the company Ripple. It was designed for financial institutions to scale digital payments across the globe and reduce transaction costs associated with typical cross-border funds transfers. Short-term lines of credit can also be extended using XRP.

Tether: Tether is what’s known as a stablecoin, a currency tied to a fiat currency — in this case, the U.S. dollar. The idea behind Tether is to combine the benefits of a cryptocurrency (such as no need for financial intermediaries) with the stability of a currency issued by a sovereign government (versus the wild price fluctuations inherent with many cryptos).

Dogecoin: Originally made as a joke poking fun of rampant speculation on cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin has skyrocketed in value, thanks to support from the likes of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. It features a meme of a Shiba Inu dog as a “mascot” and was made to be used a form of digital payment like Bitcoin. However, Dogecoin makes it quicker and easier for payments to be recorded, but it also has no limit on how many coins can be created over time (unlike Bitcoin, which was designed with a cap on how many coins there can be).

 

How to Determine What You Owe

Determining how much profit you’ve made and how much you’re liable for in taxes is a bit complicated.

Cashing Out of Crypto

In keeping with standard tax rules, when cashing out cryptocurrency for fiat money like dollars, one will need to know the basis price of the Bitcoin they’re selling.

For example, if you bought Bitcoin at $6,000 and sold it at $8,000 three months later, you’ll pay a short-term capital gains tax (equivalent to one’s income tax) on the $2,000 gained. If the same trade took place over a two-year timeline, long-term capital gains taxes corresponding to one’s tax bracket are applied. This is 0% for those in the 10-15% income bracket, 15% for those in the 25-35% income bracket, and 20% for those in higher brackets.

Selling the cryptocurrencies that one has mined instead of those that they bought previously with fiat is a different story. Since they’re receiving dollars in exchange for mining inputs that can only be described as work (and indeed is so with the term “Proof of Work”), the profit made from selling mined cryptocurrencies is taxed as business income. One is also able to deduct the expenses that went into their mining operation, such as PC hardware and electricity.

Personal Purchases

The taxes on buying a cup of coffee with cryptocurrency are also convoluted. One must know the basis price of the Bitcoin they used to buy the coffee, then subtract it by the cost of the coffee.

Currently, the tax code allows taxpayers to exclude up to $200 per transaction for foreign currency exchange rate gain, if the gain was derived from a personal purchase, like a cup of coffee. This is known as a de minimis election. But there is no de minimis clause that exempts small transactions, which can create a very tangled tax problem if one is constantly trading crypto and also using it to buy goods and services.

Determining which coins were used to buy the coffee, their basis price and according gains, and then repeating this for every purchase only gets more complicated if the buyer is also trading coins frequently. It’s therefore vital to remember to keep all transaction information for each digital wallet and currency.

Another complication comes with the fact that this only works with gains. Declaring a loss and getting a tax deduction is relevant only for capital asset trades or for-profit transactions. If one buys Bitcoin at $8,000 and then uses it to purchase a pair of jeans when Bitcoin is worth $6,000, they can’t declare this a loss on their tax forms.

Exchanging Cryptocurrencies

Exchanging cryptocurrencies exposes investors to taxes as well. You’re effectively selling Bitcoin if you buy Ethereum with it, so you’ll need to report the difference in Bitcoin’s price between when you bought it and when you spent it on Ethereum, plus make note of the price of Ethereum at its purchase time for when you sell it later.

Many exchanges help crypto traders keep all this information organized by offering free exports of all trading data, which an accountant (or a diligent enthusiast) can use to determine their tax burden. Blockchain solutions are also well-suited to record this data and highlight relevant points of tax interest. Platforms like TrustVerse have smart-contract-based wealth management services that organize one’s digital identity and assets on the blockchain, to ensure that tax and estate obligations are addressed with immutable accuracy according to the asset owner.

It is always recommended to go to a certified accountant when attempting to file cryptocurrency taxes for the first time. While it might seem daunting to tackle a multi-year trading career, it must be done, and it’s getting easier as CPAs and other tax professionals learn more about crypto assets. For now, the IRS is letting people become accustomed to the new way of doing things and has published a guide on amending old tax returns to include cryptocurrency. Savvy traders are already ahead of their obligations and are now focusing on the next year’s crypto market without this cloud of uncertainty over their heads.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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03/Dec/2021

In order to maintain your status as an EA you will be required to stay up to date with new tax laws and policies. EAs have some of the highest authority available when representing their clients before the IRS. They are held to a high standard because of this.

TxSEA works with members to provide convenient and interesting options for continued education credits. Whether you are a brand new Enrolled Agent or have spent decades helping tax payers, our seminars and education courses can help you stay on top of your required education.

The IRS has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about CE credits below:

  1. How many continuing education hours must enrolled agents obtain?

Enrolled agents must obtain 72 hours of continuing education every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be on ethics. Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider.

  1. I applied during an enrollment cycle, how many continuing education credits must I complete?

If your initial enrollment occurs during an enrollment cycle, you are required to complete 2 hours of qualifying continued education credits per month AND 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct credits per year. When your new enrollment cycle begins, you will be required to satisfy the full 72-hour continuing education credit requirement.

Example: If you enroll in year 2 of an enrollment cycle in May, you are required to complete 2 hours of qualifying education credits for each month (May (2), June (2), July (2), August (2)…etc. until the end of the enrollment year(s); in addition to completing 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct credits for each year. Your result would be, 40 hours of CE credits with 4 hours of ethics credits for the enrollment cycle.

  1. I enrolled in year 3 of an enrollment cycle in the month of November and my social security number ends with a five (5). How many CPE credits must I complete?

You are required to complete four (4) CPE credits for November and December of the 3rd year; of which two (2) must be completed in Ethics courses. Your next renewal cycle 2011-2014 you will be required to complete a minimum of 72-hours of continuing education credits which encompasses three (3) calendar years. (Note: a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education credits, of which 2 credits must be on ethics, must be completed during each enrollment year of an enrollment cycle.)

  1. I enrolled in year 2 of an enrollment cycle in the month of March and my social security number ends with a seven (7). How many CPE credits must I complete?

Due to the month and year that you enrolled, you are required to complete 44 CPE credits before December 31, 2011. Your next renewal cycle beginning 2012-2015, you will be required to complete a minimum of 72 hours of continuing education credits.

  1. I enrolled in year 1 of an enrollment cycle in the month of January and my social security number ends with a one (1). How many CPE credits must I complete?

Due to the month and year that you enrolled, you are required to complete 72 CPE credits before December 31, 2012. (Note: a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education credits, of which 2 credits must be on ethics, must be completed during each enrollment year of an enrollment cycle.)

  1. I was unable to complete the minimum continuing education credits required during an enrollment cycle, due to extenuating circumstances.

Refer to Section 10.6(j) of Treasury Department Circular 230 to determine if you meet the qualifications to request a waiver of continuing education requirements.

  1. What are the record keeping requirements for EAs and ERPAs? (revised 10/19/15)

Preparers must retain the following records for four years:

  • The name of the CE Provider organization;
  • The location of the program;
  • The title of the program, approval number received for the program, and copy of the program content;
  • Written outlines, course syllabi, textbook, and/or electronic materials provided or required for the program;
  • The date(s) attended;
  • The credit hours claimed;
  • The name(s) of the instructor(s), discussion leader(s), or speaker(s), if appropriate; and
  • The certificate of completion and/or signed statement of the hours of attendance obtained from the continuing education provider
  1. How does a preparer know that they are taking CE from an IRS-approved provider? (revised 9/14/16)

They should look at the public listing. Approved providers may also show the “IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider” logo. In addition, all providers are issued a Provider Number from the IRS.

  1. Do I need to send my Certificates of Completion from programs I’ve taken to the IRS? (revised 4/25/12)

No. Any programs you’ve taken from an IRS-approved CE Provider will be reported to the IRS by the Provider. You will be able to view your completed CE credits through your online PTIN account later in 2013.

  1. How can I ensure that I receive credit for the programs that I take? (revised 9/14/16)

Follow these steps:

  1. Attend a program from an approved IRS CE Provider.
  2. Give the provider your correctly spelled name and PTIN (PXXXXXXXX).
  3. Double-check that the PTIN you provide matches the PTIN in your welcome letter or online PTIN account.
  4. Beginning in mid-2013, you can check your online PTIN account to see a display of the 2013 CE programs reported to the IRS for you by providers.

Note: CE programs attended for 2012 will never appear in your online PTIN account. The IRS is allowing PTIN holders to self-attest to meeting the 2012 CE requirement.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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28/Nov/2021

When you are dealing with complex tax issues, your first thought may be to reach out to a well known tax preparation company. While the individuals who work for companies like this are effective at handling simple tax problems, they are not the best option for more involved tax needs.

Instead of looking for a tax relief company, seeking the help of an individual tax preparer may be your best option. There are different levels of tax preparers, with Enrolled Agents (EAs) coming in at the top. This is because EAs have more freedom to communicate on your behalf and represent you throughout the tax filing process.

 

What Is an Enrolled Agent (EA)?

An enrolled agent, or EA, is a kind of tax professional who focuses narrowly on managing tax arrangements for business or private entities. EAs boast a wide range of knowledge in such tax-related subjects as income, estate, gift, payroll, levies, returns, inheritance, non-profit and retirement taxes.

Once EAs have passed their qualifying exam, the federal government recognizes them as tax specialists. Typical EA responsibilities include representing business or individual clients in tax audits, tax appeals and tax collections. Additionally, EAs can also provide tax advice, tax return filing and more.

An EA is the highest credential the IRS awards. A professional with this designation typically makes between $15,000 and $20,000 more than CPAs annually. You’ll want to seek out an EA for any and all tax-related issues. In fact, the IRS says they are uncontested experts on such topics.

 

What Is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

Certified public accountants, or CPAs, have a more flexible and expansive repertoire than EAs. States approve CPAs, while the federal government approves EAs.

CPAs typically do most of their work for public accounting firms of all sizes. They could be specifically licensed as auditors, financial planners, corporate and executive accountants and tax consultants. So CPAs could assist in all accounting, tax and financial services for the businesses, individuals and other organizations they may represent.

CPAs help clients set and achieve financial goals through money management and financial planning. These goals could include anything from putting down a payment for a home to opening a new branch of business across the country.

 

EA vs. CPA: Which One Should You Work With?

When deciding between an EA or a CPA, you will see that both types of professionals are well-qualified. They can both deliver the financial guidance you may need for your taxes. However, which one you should consult depends largely on which issue you’re looking to resolve.

EAs could help you work through an IRS audit or a collection problem, and they can also perform bookkeeping services that could be useful for businesses when preparing tax returns. CPAs, however, are more adept in meeting your financial planning and accounting needs; and when it comes to tax planning, they can also help you identify tax credits and deductions to lower your tax liability.

Both types of professionals are equally qualified to perform similar tasks, but there are differences in the range of services offered. CPAs can provide a much wider scope of tax services than an EA can. What’s more, general population demand is greater for CPAs than EAs.

If you have accounting needs with a micro focus, working with an EA could be the perfect fit for you. On the other hand, if you are interested in accounting practices that have nothing to do with taxes, such as auditing, then the CPA option may be best.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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23/Nov/2021

TxSEA will be hosting an in-person seminar on December 1st, from 9AM to 1PM CT in Houston. For those who are unable to attend this event in person, there will also be a live webcast.

 

What will the seminar be covering?

“Taxation – Serving the Realtor/Broker Community”

3 hrs Continuing Education Credit at a beginning tax level that will cover:

-Bookkeeping requirements for tax deductions

-Other Tax updates that impact realtors including Office in Home, advertising, meals & entertainment deductions, Section 121 primary residence exclusion, and Section 1031 exchanges.

-Release of liens, unfiled tax returns

-FIRPTA issues with Foreign real estate sellers

 

1 hr training on how to easily expand your business to attract and serve Realtors and their clients.

 

Who will be presenting?

Presenters: Marc Enzi, EA & Sandi King-Brauer, EA

Both are Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) continuing education providers. TxSEA is also an approved TREC education provider. TxSEA members are allowed to make use of the designation and the approved CE to build their business at no additional cost.

 

Who can attend this seminar?

This event is open to both TxSEA members and non-members, however, only current members can take advantage of the TREC approved business opportunity.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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27/Oct/2021

The EA exam is an in-depth exam that will require you to diligently study for ahead of time. There are three parts of the exam going over representation practices and procedures. While the level of difficulty varies between individuals, the more time you spend preparing yourself, the easier the process will be.

 

4 Tips To Pass The EA Exam

  1. Take A Exam Prep Course Specifically for the Enrolled Agent Exam

The Special Enrollment Exam is a 3 part tax-specific exam created by the IRS. Many individuals with a background in accounting may make the mistake of not properly preparing for the exam. It is important to take note that tax accounting and financial accounting are two different fields. You will want to take an in-depth approach to preparing for this exam and become familiar with the types of exam questions that will be covered.

An EA review course can help you dive deep into tax topics and become more familiar with the tax code, preparing you to pass your exam. There are many different review courses offered online for prospective EAs. Do your research to ensure you are working with a company that offers a quality exam course.

  1. Stay Up To Date

The tax law and IRS publications are constantly evolving. Some changes are small adjustments, while other may have a massive impact on even the most basic of tax matters. These changes will be reflected on the Enrolled Agent Exam, making it critical that you are familiar with the newest updates. Make sure you go with a review course that updates with the Enrolled Agent Exam and stay on top of any changes mentioned at www.irs.gov

  1. Remember Basic Tax Formulas

Much like the importance of knowing the fundamentals of tax law, you will want to memorize the basic and most frequently used tax formulas. When you are an Enrolled Agent, you will have to calculate a variety of basic tax numbers, from Adjusted Gross Income for individuals to deductions for corporations. Memorizing these formats of basic tax calculations for individuals and business entities will be important for your exam and also for your career.

  1. Familiarize Yourself With Testing Format

Exam day can be very stressful, even for the most prepared individuals. If you have never taken an exam at a Prometric site, you may add additional anxiety to your big day. These testing centers take security measures to ensure there is no cheating during the exam. Some of these security measure include fingerprinting, ID scans, and personal scans.

These formalities can lead to additional pressure when you are not expecting it. To minimize the stress you are going to feel on the day of the exam, invest some time in the “What To Expect” section of Prometric’s site before test day. This page will provide an in-depth view of the testing experience and will help you feel more prepared going into the test center for your exam.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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19/Oct/2021

If you are currently representing taxpayers and helping clients with taxes, becoming an enrolled agent (EA) may be the best career option for you. The IRS empowers EAs with a wide range of useful tools unavailable to most other tax preparers.

EAs can speak on a client’s behalf, argue disputes, and make cases to the federal taxation authorities. The credential allows EAs to handle nearly any situation that may arise in the case of a taxpayer.

EAs are held to a very high standard, as IRS employees they must pass a background check and practice before the IRS with high ethical standards.

 

Why Become an Enrolled Agent?

Enrolled agent certification comes with countless benefits. The credential raises your profile, opens new career doors, attracts work, and gives you confidence in your abilities as an accountant. Whether you work as a tax preparer or accountant or simply want to move into the field of tax preparation, becoming an EA bestows credibility on your enterprise. Several other benefits of passing the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) follow below.

  • Earning Potential: When it comes to tax preparation, you can do everything a client needs once you become an enrolled agent. Because you can argue tax law, discuss audits with the IRS, deal with the IRS collections department, and make appeals, you can provide a full gamut of services. Not everyone can provide these services, which puts you in high demand and a position of great earning potential.
  • Jack of All Taxes: An enrolled agent can do almost anything in the world of tax preparation. They can handle collections issues, answer questions on behalf of clients, file appeals, and make challenges to the IRS. This freedom enables credential holders to fully represent clients in a way that only EAs and CPAs can.
  • National Credentials: The “EA” by your name represents a federal designation handed down by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In other words, it allows you to work anywhere in the country. This contrasts with CPA licensure, which is state-specific with limitations and restrictions. Clients know that enrolled agents can work across state lines without hassle.
  • Certified Expertise: “EA” represents the highest level of professionalism in the field of tax preparation. Clients can take comfort in the knowledge that you really know the ropes, just as patients recognize that “MD” indicates a certain level of attainment in the field of medicine.
  • Job Stability: Governments will not stop levying taxes any time soon, so as an EA you enjoy a steady flow of work from individuals, tax-prep firms, law firms, accounting firms, and all manners of corporations. Virtually everyone must pay taxes of some sort, and the ever-changing tax code means even more job security for enrolled agents.

 

 

How Do I Become An Enrolled Agent?

-Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

-Visit Prometric’s Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) web page to schedule your test appointments, review the SEE Candidate Information Bulletin PDF, sample test questions, and other test preparation resources. Achieve passing scores on all three parts of the SEE* within three years. This is the enrolled agent exam and is the most difficult part of the process.

-Apply for enrollment and pay enrollment fee electronically using Pay.gov Form 23 or by downloading Form 23, PDF Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service (PDF) and mailing the completed form and a check to the IRS.

-Pass a suitability check, which will include tax compliance to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities; and criminal background.

 

Continued Education Requirements For EAs

Professionals who reach the status of Enrolled Agent must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education (CE) courses every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be focused around ethics. Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider for these credits to be counted.

Joining TxSEA provides tax professionals with many excellent benefits. Members will be given ample opportunities to network with other tax professionals in their state and local area. These networking opportunities will include group discussions covering new tax laws and policies and continued education courses to keep your license current.

Our organization has online and in-person webinars that are designed to help you improve your business and stay up to date with your licensing. We work with the National Association of Enrolled Agents to help spread information and promote opportunities they provide for all Enrolled Agents.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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08/Oct/2021

Individuals who take the necessary steps to become an Enrolled Agent must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education (CE) courses every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be focused around ethics. Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider for these credits to be counted.

Becoming a member of TxSEA helps EAs reach their highest potential and continue growing in their field. You will have the opportunity to network with other tax professionals in your state and local area, have a group to discuss new tax laws and policies with as they arise, and have many opportunities to stay track with CE credits.

TxSEA offers online and in-person webinars that are designed to help you improve your business and stay up to date with your licensing. We work with the National Association of Enrolled Agents to help spread information and promote opportunities they provide for all EAs.

 

What Is The Role of An Enrolled Agent?

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.

Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.

 

What Are The Record Keeping Requirements for EAs and ERPAs?

Preparers must retain the following records for four years:

  • The name of the CE Provider organization;
  • The location of the program;
  • The title of the program, approval number received for the program, and copy of the program content;
  • Written outlines, course syllabi, textbook, and/or electronic materials provided or required for the program;
  • The date(s) attended;
  • The credit hours claimed;
  • The name(s) of the instructor(s), discussion leader(s), or speaker(s), if appropriate; and
  • The certificate of completion and/or signed statement of the hours of attendance obtained from the continuing education provider

 

I applied during an enrollment cycle, how many continuing education credits must I complete?

If your initial enrollment occurs during an enrollment cycle, you are required to complete 2 hours of qualifying continued education credits per month AND 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct credits per year. When your new enrollment cycle begins, you will be required to satisfy the full 72-hour continuing education credit requirement.

Example: If you enroll in year 2 of an enrollment cycle in May, you are required to complete 2 hours of qualifying education credits for each month (May (2), June (2), July (2), August (2)…etc. until the end of the enrollment year(s); in addition to completing 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct credits for each year. Your result would be, 40 hours of CE credits with 4 hours of ethics credits for the enrollment cycle.

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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30/Sep/2021

Are you looking for a professional tax agent to help you through your unique tax situation? Working with an enrolled agent is an excellent choice for those facing complex and difficult dynamics. Nerd Wallet shares some tips below to help you find a qualified tax expert:

So if you’re searching for help, here are seven tips on how to find the best tax preparer or tax advisor for you.

  1. Ask for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

The IRS requires anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation to have a PTIN. Note the phrase “for compensation” — volunteer tax preparers don’t need PTINs. Make sure your income tax preparer puts his or her PTIN number on your return — the IRS requires that, too.

  1. Require a CPA, law license or Enrolled Agent designation

A PTIN ​is relatively easy to get, so go a step further and get a credentialed preparer — someone who’s also a certified public accountant (CPA), licensed attorney, enrolled agent (EA) or who has completed the IRS’s Annual Filing Season program. The Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor and Accredited Tax Preparer are examples of programs that help preparers fulfill the Annual Filing Season Program requirement. These credentials all require varying amounts of study, exams and ongoing education

How do you find the best tax preparer near you with the credentials you want? One way is to search the IRS’s directory. It includes preparers with PTINs and IRS-recognized professional credentials. Volunteer preparers and preparers with just PTINs won’t be in the database.

  1. Look for friends in high places

Membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or the American Academy of Attorney CPAs is always a good thing to have in a tax advisor, as most have codes of ethics, professional conduct requirements and various certification programs.

  1. Compare fees

How much do tax preparers charge? The average fee for preparing a Form 1040 is $203, and tax preparers who don’t use a flat rate typically charge $138 per hour, according to the National Society of Tax Professionals. Often, tax preparers either charge a minimum fee plus cost based on the complexity of your return (that minimum fee ranges from $160 to $172 on average), or they charge a set fee for each form and schedule needed in your return (filing a Schedule C might cost an extra $84 on average, for example). If you come across a tax preparer whose fee is based on the size of your refund or who says he or she can get you a bigger refund than the next guy, that’s a red flag.

  1. Reconsider tax advisors who don’t e-file

The IRS requires any paid preparer who does more than 10 returns for clients to file electronically via the IRS’s e-file system. If your tax preparer doesn’t offer e-file, it may be a sign the person isn’t doing as much tax prep as you thought.

  1. Confirm they’ll sign on the dotted line

The law requires paid preparers to sign their clients’ returns and provide their PTINs. Never sign a blank tax return — the preparer could put anything on the return, including their own bank account number so they can steal your refund.

  1. Check if they’d have your back

Enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys with PTINs can represent you in front of the IRS on audits, payments and collection issues, and appeals. Preparers who just have PTINs can’t — even if they prepared your return. Preparers who complete the Annual Filing Season Program can represent clients only in limited circumstances.

Availability is also crucial. Even after the filing season is over and your tax return is history, the best tax preparers will take your call, respond to your email, or welcome you for a visit.

 

Why Choose an Enrolled Agent?

According to the IRS:

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.

Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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20/Sep/2021

Enrolled Agents are America’s tax experts. According to the IRS:

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.

Most people know, filing your own tax returns can be a complex and tedious process. This is especially true if you are a business owner, independent contractor, or need to itemize your deductions one by one. Luckily, working with an experienced tax preparer or financial advisor can help you to navigate this difficult process in order to get the best results in your filing.

It is important to choose a qualified tax professional for your tax issue. Not all tax professionals have the same background, knowledge, expertise, or privilege. Enrolled agents have very few restrictions when working with their clients. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential you can receive from the IRS, and gives them unique powers when it comes to the tax preparation process.

They are able to represent clients in any state and can communicate directly with the IRS on their client’s behalf. This can make it simple for individuals in difficult circumstances. If you need help with your individual or business taxes, an EA can help you.

Canopy outlines some of the primary benefits for becoming an Enrolled Agent below:

Whether someone is just starting out in their career or they have plenty of tax preparation experience and want to take things to the next level, they should consider becoming an enrolled agent. Here are three of the most valuable benefits in becoming an enrolled agent.

  1. Verification of Tax Expertise

Earning an EA license means that the tax accountant is part of an elite group that is recognized as a tax expert. As the highest certification given by the IRS, an EA is an easy way to signal that the professional who holds the license has a very high level of tax expertise.

The IRS has such strict standards about earning an EA credential that everyone understands it means deep knowledge and a range of expertise. An EA is not limited to state or regional knowledge, either. Because it is regulated by The Department of Treasury, EA credentials are recognized and revered in every state.

  1. Opportunities for Job Growth

Becoming an enrolled agent is an excellent way to explore job opportunities and business prospects that may not otherwise be open. EAs specialize in tax issues of all kinds ranging from businesses to individuals. An EA license makes tax accountants highly desirable when it comes to jobs at a tax firm, a government entity, or for a CPA in the private sector. With an EA on their resume, it’s easy for someone to stand out among other job applicants.

  1. Expanded Earning Potential

For tax accountants, earning an EA can increase their salary by several thousand dollars and allows them to take the next step in their career. The higher salary potential is one of the many benefits that an EA license can provide. In the eyes of their clients, EAs are incredibly valuable because they need help understanding the complexities of taxes and how they affect their business or their individual earnings.

EAs can represent taxpayers in any kind of situation in front of the IRS on an unlimited number of tax topics. From collections and audits to appeals and advising, EAs can work in any state and there are no limits to the type of clients or the type of IRS offices they can take on. No matter where they are in their career, EAs will always be able to provide a wide range of tax services to an increasing number of clients from all backgrounds.

 

How Can I Become an Enrolled Agent?

To become an enrolled agent, you can either work directly for the IRS for 5+ years or pass all parts of a test called the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE). EAs are also required to complete continuing education credentials . To maintain EA status, you must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years.

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of these credits and network with other EAs in their area. Do not fall behind on your education, stay on track with TxSEA.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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19/Sep/2021

After you have passed your Enrolled Agent exam, you may be wondering what the best options are to move forward with your career. While every EA will have their own path, there are some steps you can take to help increase your chances of success.

Become a TxSEA & NAEA Member

One of the best ways to find resources and connect with other tax professionals is by joining a group dedicated to enrolled agents. There is a national organization, as well as state level organizations dedicated to helping EAs connect to their peers and serve their clients needs.

For Texas EAs, there is the Texas Society of Enrolled Agents (TxSEA). This organization has 4 chapters throughout the state that meet digitally and in-person. If you are an EA in Texas, you can learn more about your local chapters here.

Get a Mentor

When you join TxSEA, our members will work with new professionals to find established Enrolled Agents to partner up with. Seasoned EAs offer helpful insight and industry knowledge that can help launch your career and set you up for success.

One of our EAs shared their experience working with a mentor:

As soon as I received my EA, my mentor and employer Kathy had me working as her TxSEA education chair assistant. The IRS had just implemented strict CE provider requirements. Part of my job, besides being an EA, was to collect 3 Chapter’s CE seminar documentation, upload CE hours for attendees and make the Houston meetings run smoothly.

I look back on that time and realize that that was the perfect way for me, an introvert, to get to know people, nice and slowly. By the time Kathy retired as president of the Chapter and TxSEA Education Chair it wasn’t such a big step to move into both positions. I knew quite a few TxSEA members in the 3 Chapters….

The benefits of TxSEA I’m talking about are intangible and real. You don’t have to be a member to take advantage of the education that we continually need. You can probably find other groups that fit your comfort zone. But are they tax nerds? Can they help you in your business? TXSEA and its members can. Come join, participate and expand your zone.

Network With Other EAs

Networking is helpful for professionals in many industries, but especially for EAs. This is because tax laws are always evolving. Our organization helps to keep all of our members educated and up to date with all changes and current tax related deadlines.

Our organizations meets every Thursday morning online from 9 AM to 9:30/10 AM on the first 4 Thursdays. Discuss issues that come up in your practice, meet EAs and get to know them and their specialties for future contact.

How Can I Become an Enrolled Agent?

To become an enrolled agent, you can either work directly for the IRS for 5+ years or pass all parts of a test called the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE). EAs are also required to complete continuing education credentials . To maintain EA status, you must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years.

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of these credits and network with other EAs in their area. Do not fall behind on your education, stay on track with TxSEA.

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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05/Sep/2021

We have covered in previous blog posts, that Enrolled Agents (EAs) are America’s Tax Experts. This is because EAs are federally-licensed tax practitioners who may represent taxpayers before the IRS when it comes to collections, audits and appeals. As authorized by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations, EAs are granted unlimited practice rights to represent taxpayers before IRS and are authorized to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements.

Enrolled agents are the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. The enrolled agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department. Enrolled agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers at all administrative levels within the IRS.

 

So, who are the tax experts in Texas?

With Enrolled Agents being America’s Tax Experts, it only makes sense that the Enrolled Agents in Texas serve as the leading tax experts in the state. While EAs are not limited to practice in one state, they are likely to have more intimate knowledge and understanding of the tax laws that govern the state they work in compared to other tax professionals.

If you are facing state tax problems, federal tax issues, need help with income tax preparation, or are a small business with more complex tax needs, EAs can help you. Working with a TxSEA member provides you the opportunity to work with an up to date and informed EA. All of our members are given resources to evolve and learn as tax laws change, to ensure they are providing the best tax advice and guidance to their clients.

Enrolled agents have privilege with the taxpayers they represent, under certain conditions. This privilege allows for confidentiality between the enrolled agent and taxpayer in circumstances where the taxpayer is being represented in situations involving audits and debt collection. It is important to note, this privilege does not apply to the preparation and filing of a tax return, and does not apply to state tax matters.

 

Are Enrolled Agents The Highest Tax Expert?

According to the IRS:

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.

Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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