At this point, it has become a challenge to try and produce a “next blog that was better than the last one”. Well I decided to try one last time, before I shift to a new topic. Todays discussion is going to rely upon:
- Fallacious Logic
- Consequences of poor Boolean Search Format
- My retort the a statement that just grates on me like 40 people in a room running their fingernails down a chalkboard. The statement is “Enrolled Agents are America’s Tax Experts!” and it’s just like fungus appearing just about every time one sees the term “Enrolled Agent” [Source “NAEA.org]
Let’s analyze the statement and see what we learn. A hypothetical situation – we are contacted by a potential client who tells us the following:
- He is located in central Wisconsin. He has had a number of income tax problems among his numerous personal issues. One of his acts has come under scrutiny by local authorities and he needs a tax professional to assist his efforts. His name is Jared Kreft.
We begin our investigation [our firm has a subscription to the Thomson Reuters WG&L Tax Treatise Library which costs us approximately $30K/year]. We assume that our researcher can’t afford a best of breed tax research subscription and so he uses Google. The google search he selects is “horse and act and taxes” hers is what the search returned.
Thus we have learned that an “Enrolled Agent” could be the proper choice to address the client’s issue. We have come to a point where some decisions need to be made. We have read much of the material which is contained and learned that the Horse Act of 1884 create “Enrolled Agents” as part of an attempt to remove the graft and criminal conduct which permeated the post-Civil War claims process. All of the above is factually correct. Enrolled Agents existed well before CPA’s appeared on the scene [my first attempt at logic CPA is to Homo Sapiens as Enrolled Agent is to Australopithecus africanus ??].
Our initial search has produced a statement [“Enrolled Agents are America’s Tax Experts”]that is continually asserted without one iota of factual support. Here is one example of how the assertion is made [Source: The Wandering Tax Pro Blog – one of the leading proponents of the statement].
The next search we undertake is to seek to add the specific detail “Wisconsin” to the search. We will get to the results of the search in a moment, but let’s try to apply the same type of logic that the Enrolled Agents use. If we do so, we reach two rather interesting possible conclusions:
- Jared Kreft must be an Enrolled Agent or
- Enrolled Agent’s have frightening hobbies
Here is the search:
Thus, our fallacious logic has produced a result that is absolutely absurd. The reality is that there are some in the Enrolled Agent community that continue to perpetuate ideas based upon logic which are just as absurd. The sole purpose for taking the time to go through with this exercise is to hopefully elicit some sanity and end the use of absurd statements.Its worth undertaking one more iteration to illustrate how the use of the results of “research” have the ability to exacerbate the situation.
My sense is that some would communicate the results in the most extreme manner possible which might look like this little gem.
While the Huffington Post ran a slightly tamer version of the story:
We have reached the point that the baseless spew from some corners needs to come to and end. There is no reason that the continued use of phrases which are deliberately intended to “bait” a response ought continue. The captioned phrase in the title to this blog is just as offensive as “CPA Lite”, “Dog Rodgering” and “Shinola” probably are to the Enrolled Agents. The absurdity is impossible to miss. We have reached the heights of professional maturity the offer on the table is. “If you stop the nonsense we will to”.
The best comment that appears on this blog will win an item of Kentucky Derby memorabilia.