EA Never Will Be An Astronaut
EA Never Will Be An Astronaut – Some are generally accepted and others seem to be a constant source of butthurt and ill will. There is a reality in the business world that I usually refer to as “not everyone can be an astronaut”. I have often dreamed of writing a book with that title.
The reality of life is “that not everyone can be an astronaut and go it space.” It’s one thing for a person that has the raw intellect but lacks the opportunity to be driven and strive to achieve. At the same time though it sounds cruel, “you can’t put in what God left out”. The hard truth is that at a point it becomes cruel to continue to torment a person by telling them that eventually if they work hard enough, they can do anything.
Pavarotti would never be successful trying to teach me to sing, I won’t ever get a contract with an NBA basketball team, and Donald Trump will never be mentally fit to be President. We could go on, but that isn’t the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post is to point out, highlight the incredible level of absolutely false information put out by the National Association of Enrolled Agents [“NAEA”] about the skills and rights of Enrolled Agents [“EA’s] and hope we can embrace the truth on the topic and move forward.
If you don’t want to read the entire article, here is a succinct summary:
NAEA’s website includes the following quotes
- “Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are given unlimited representation rights before IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who are state licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation.” Source: http://taxexperts.naea.org/content/what-is-an-enrolled-agent.html
- “Enrolled agents (EAs) are America’s Tax Experts®. EAs are the only federally licensed tax preparers who also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.” Source: http://taxexperts.naea.org/
This bald-faced lie come to us courtesy of the California Society of Enrolled Agents
- “Enrolled Agents (EAs) are trained in a wide variety of common and unusual tax situations. With the tax laws changing yearly, it’s more critical than ever to have a qualified tax specialist on your side when preparing your tax and financial strategy. The Enrolled Agent license is the highest credential the IRS issues. Be confident about your tax return – use an Enrolled Agent.” Source http://www.findanea.org/
Perhaps it would help to be truthful and state that the EA is the ONLY credential that the IRS issues. CPA and Attorney licensing is the purview of the states. The US Treasury, Internal Revenue Service’s [“IRS”] Office of Professional Responsibility [“OPR”] is responsible for the discipline of EA’s, CPA’s and attorneys that represent taxpayers under Circular 230.
There have been points that my frustration has led me to perhaps use less than stellar judgment and engage with NAEA at their own level, and I am inclined to offer a couple of examples just to highlight the point that two sides can play the game.
This one was directed at the non-professional accountants in the Xero Ecosystem
This is what our advertising might look like if we decided to adopt the ethics in advertising practiced by the National Association of Enrolled Agents.
The H&R Block reference was created as a consequence of a specific situation where an EA that was employed by H&R Block [directly not by a franchisee] engaged in conduct where we wound up sending a written caution on behalf of a taxpayer that their conduct was almost certain to attract an enhanced preparer penalty and a mandatory IRS OPR referral under IRC Sec. 6694(b)(2). So don’t EVER get confused and assume that H&R Block is a professional accounting practice. See H&R Block Really Is a Nightmare.
Rather than restate much of what I have written on topic before, you can read Considerations In Selecting A US Tax Advisor, What Does Your Financial Advisor Look Like, a post with numerous links to other material in A Proposal To Ban the Use of “Meaningless Titles”, “I Found My Niche Clown Accounting” and my ALL TIME FAVORITE – “aBIZinaBOX Contemplates A Little Yiddish Wisdom”.
Just to sure add an element of balance to this piece, there are some very well written truthful articles about EA’s such as this piece from Forbes “Enrolled Agents Deserve More Respect”.
Once again, it is important to remember that unlike NAEA, this article has attempted to strike a balance in fairness and respect the truth in discussing the topic.