Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What A Year

An entire summer studying for my Enrolled Agent exams - I, II, III that total 10.5 hours of testing has culminated in passing scores and my being accepted by the IRS as an Enrolled Agent. This means I can now represent clients before the IRS. Less than 10 percent of all registered tax professionals can claim this distinction. I am now an EA.
Last tax season was busy but not very eventful.
The big news this year is how the IRS is about to add on the duties of overseeing our Health Care Insurance Enrollment. What we really have is a mandatory Health Insurance Plan for all Federal Tax Filers. And that makes the job of Tax Preparers even more critical because Tax Planning has never been more essential.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Breaking news: The IRS is in a budget crunch and they are taking it out on tax preparers and tax payers. This year's IRS forum for Las Vegas had more than 6000 attendees that paid an average of $250 each to partake in a radically trimmed down forum that did not satisfy.
As a result of last spring's computer crash which fried all my saved and stored tax returns from the last decade +, I decided this year to opt for a new software provider. OLT is the new program and it appears to be well suited for an independent preparer such as myself who files less than 100 returns a year but has clients outside of Nevada in six other states (Oregon, California, New York, Louisiana, Florida, and Illinois).
Actual changes for the upcoming tax year won't be carved in "stone" until Congress (oh boy) acts by 12/31/11.
We do know that changes are coming in the schedule D for sale & purchase of stocks, etc. The financial institutions (Brokerage houses) are now required to list purchase price to go along with sales prices. Takes the guess work out of basis analysis.
Also a 1099K is scheduled for businesses that use electronic pay services where the number of transactions is greater than 200 and the transaction amount is greater than $20,000. If you are a business, make sure you are certified with your pay services vendor to avoid a 3% withholding on total sales.
Best advice. Ignorance is not an excuse and Keep your records. They are a pain; but if an audit does occur, they have your back and can save your butt.
As always, contact me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crash and Fry

The ultimate nightmare of hard drive failure has pillaged and plundered my tax preparation work this season. Just want all to know that I am back up and cranking returns outs. My e-file works. Problem is the crash came before I could back up my work and all is lost. As the computer tech said to me, "Mr. Ludlow, the only thing you could do worse to your hard drive is take it out and hit it with a hammer." I replied, "Why don't we do that!"

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tax Preparer Must Register To E-File

As the first step to establishing a testing procedure for all tax preparers, the IRS has instituted a fee for the federal identification number for all electronic tax preparers.This called the PTIN or Preparer Tax Identification Number. The cost is $64.25. In my view, this is a clear money grab for a number the IRS has assigned me for free the past 10 years. Next up is a competency exam that also promises to come for a price. Now you know why it is time for me to become an Enrolled Agent with the IRS. If I am going to have spend $100 + a year to stay 'compliant' with the IRS, might as well get something for your money.

Friday, January 21, 2011


As soon as the W2s and 1099s start to arrive it is okay to file in most cases. Be aware that the late tax law passed by Congress and signed by the President mid-December will prevent returns with certain conditions from being accepted until Feb. 14!!! Mostly Education and Educator conditions apply here. I'll keep you posted. Charlie