“Are you as far behind as I am?” “Worse tax season ever!” “Do you feel guilty taking time off after April 15th?” These
are just some of the questions and comments I have read posted in the professional Facebook groups. I humbly admit that
I have said all three and most recently the latter as I write this article on an airplane headed to see my college-aged
daughter at the University of Oregon. It is a planned trip, set prior to the extension of our tax season, yet I am feeling
Deadline extensions, new retroactive tax breaks, new guidance, updates to the new guidance, all of this being signed into
law on March 11, a month after tax season started. These changes are confusing. Our clients look to us for guidance and
at times we cannot even answer their questions because we are waiting for guidance from the IRS.
Because of this confusion, the self-preparers do not want to self-prepare any taxes this year. We, as professionals, are
being sought out. Our calendars are getting full quickly. We are taking on too much work. We want to help everyone,
but to what expense?
I am sure none of us, as little kids, when asked what we wanted to be when we grew up said “I want to be an overworked,
taken advantage of Enrolled Agent.” I am sure we had higher aspirations than that. And if you were one of those kids, I
want to talk to you. Personally, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but while I was working at a CPA firm to put myself
through college, I found out I was really good at taxes. I then majored in Accounting and the rest is history. I later started
my own practice for the flexibility it offered and being able to make my own schedule. I could take time off when my
daughter was ill, or join her field trips. I never felt guilty for taking time off. So what has changed?
Does your firm operate the way you desire? Have you established boundaries? Do you still have that flexibility you
strived for when you branched out on your own? If you answered “no” to these questions, or never even asked yourself
before, maybe it is time for a change. Remember why you started your own practice or why you became an EA. Do not
let that “expense” take that away!