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A Trip to the IRS Tax Forums, Page 1

2010-09-03 by

Last week, all my tax staff and I took our annual trip to the IRS Tax Forum.

When these forums first started out many years ago, the fee was $25 for three days of education provided by IRS staff and a variety of tax professionals from sponsor associations. It was an amazing value – especially since you could fulfill your entire annual continuing education requirement in one shot – for $25. Wow! OK, so the material was a little basic, with IRS devoting time to propagandize about their service…but still, the contacts you made were excellent. And you did get some insight into the way IRS operates.

A decade or so later, the fee has risen to $206 ($335 if registering late). Still a pretty decent value for three days of classes. Yet Walter J Matisewski, CPA from Rhode Island tells me these fees are not high enough. At a recent NATP conference, Walter heard Karen Hawkins, the Director of IRS’ Office of Profesional Responsibility indicat (or hint) that the IRS is going to be looking at the tax forums in the next couple of years to determine if they should be continued due to the excess cost and time it takes.

Hawkins is right. It’s time to re-evaluate the events. They have become bloated, out of all proportion. This year, there were over 6,000 people at the Las Vegas venue. Picture this. About 1,00 people sitting in a room, on those metal frame banquet room chairs, linked to each other in batches of 20 or 30. All these people squashed together, no room for their books or materials. Struggling to take notes, elbow poked into someone’s ribs. Nary a writing surface in sight.

Thank goodness for the two tall screens, one on either side of the podium, that show you the slides being presented. Unfortunately (since notes are so hard to take), the information on the slides is often not the same as the copies of the slides published in the conference syllabus. Some of the changes are significant – and it would be really good to be able to make note – but the presentations move pretty quickly and people miss some crucial details.

Moving between classes is like facing a stampede. Neither the conference administrators, nor the hotel (who surely must do this regularly, since they have these facilities for thousands of attendees) have worked out a way to get people smoothly into and out of the rooms. In fact, even if you get wise and stay in the same room for two or three classes, you have to fight against the tide of the stampede to get your registration card scanned so you can get continuing education credit for being present. (Has anyone thought of putting scanners in the front of the room, near the stage, instead of just at the entrance, in the back of the room?)

And the distance to conference facility! Whoowee! More people than ever rented those senior-mobiles to get around. One woman told me that she was stuck in the elevator for nearly half an hour trying to back her senior-mobile out before the doors closed. And just wait until you try to use the only two elevators in the facility – filled with two senior-mobiles side-by-side. Anyway, they solved that problem. They won’t be using the Mandalay Bay Hotel next year. They are moving to Cesear’s Palace, where the distances are not nearly as bad.

OK, enough about logistics. What about the services?

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TaxMama’s In Depth Tax Web Workshop for Writers, Journalists and Bloggers

2010-06-10 by

When: July 14, 2010

10:00 am – Noon PT

Where: Online in TaxMama’s Conference Room

Cost: $50.00

Discounts: $20 discount to members of writers groups – Check with your association for discount code

CPE Credits: 2 hours for Enrolled Agents

How to Register – Include the name of your writers association:

Paypal – Send payment to Be sure to include your name, phone number, email address You will receive an email invitation to the Webinar. Who should attend: Professional Writers making a living as writers Who are not taking full advantage of tax benefits Hobby Writers dabbling –

Who are causing major potential tax problems

What you will learn:

Who is a Writer?

Special Considerations for Writers

Avoiding IRS Red Flags for Writers

Business Considerations for Writers

General Tax Deduction for Writers

High Cost Deductions – Computers, Travel, Research

Useful Tax Tools for Writers

Useful articles, books and references

Get YOUR specific Questions answered

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The number ONE free tax podcast online

CA-NATP Regional Dinner Meeting

2010-01-05 by

Get your latest Federal & State Update in preparation for 2009 Tax Season!

We are offering up to 3 CPE credits plus dinner while you network with tax experts in your own backyard.

Register now for only $ 35.00 (member) or $ 45.00 (non-member).

Date: January 14, 2010, 6:00 pm -9:00 pm
Locations: Los Angeles Area, Northern CA, San Diego Area
See registration form in Resource Box below for address.


Los Angeles – Carol Thomas – 323-977-4524
Northern CA – Sarah Halog – 510-938-6102
San Diego – Jackie Marazzi – 760-480-0155

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CA NATP - Registration Form
CA-NATP Regional Dinner Meeting

News FLASH! IRS WILL Require Registration for all Paid Tax Return Preparers

2010-01-04 by

Note from Commissioner Shulman:

Today, we are recommending some important changes to our oversight of the tax return preparer community, including:
—Requiring registration for all paid tax return preparers.
—Establishing mandatory testing and continuing education for paid tax return preparers who do not already have this kind of requirement (i.e. exempting attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents).
—Developing a public database so that the public can ensure that their tax return preparer is registered with the IRS.
—Making all return preparers subject to the ethical standards of Treasury Circular 230 and subject to discipline by the IRS.
—Increasing our enforcement presence in the tax return preparer community.

The IRS has engaged the public and stakeholders since last summer in a wide-ranging review of issues involving tax preparation, and we have received more than 500 thoughtful recommendations from employees throughout the Service. With the findings and recommendations outlined in the Return Preparer Review final report, the IRS is taking a big step toward meeting our strategic plan goals of increasing taxpayer compliance and ensuring uniform and high ethical standards of conduct for tax return preparers.

Clearly, it’s going to take some time to put these important changes in place, and they do not affect the current filing season that starts today. However, we are taking immediate steps to help taxpayers during the 2010 filing season.

We want to make sure return preparers are doing the right thing and filing returns accurately. Starting today, the IRS is sending letters to approximately 10,000 paid preparers who have large volumes of specific types of tax returns where the IRS typically sees frequent errors. In the coming weeks, thousands of preparers will be visited by revenue agents.

Throughout the filing season, we’ll be working to provide taxpayers basic tips to help them select a reliable preparer.

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IRS Report
Return Preparer Review final report
IRS Proposes New Registration, Testing and Continuing Education Requirements for Tax Return Preparers Not Already Subject to Oversight

TaxMama's Last Minute Tax Workshop

2009-12-18 by

Please join us for TaxMama’s Last Minute Tax Workshop –
..Monday, December 21, 2009
..11:00 am Pacific – for two hours. (CPE for EAs)

It is designed to update you on the high points of things you need to know for your 2009 tax returns. Some tips to help you in 2010 – and things to watch out for! You will also learn a few things you can still do this year to minimize your taxes – or your penalties.

Take a look at some of the things we’ll be covering here.

Listen to the preview workshop here:

People have been posting questions about material they want me to cover in Monday’s workshop. Please see their notes.

Do you want to get in free? Just buy a copy of TaxMama’s 100% Home-Based Business Tax Solution.

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Where taxes are fun and answers are free
The number ONE free tax podcast online
TaxMama's Last Minute Tax Workshop
Register for Monday's Workshop

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