The IRS announced it is caught up on its backlog and will likely be sending out balance-due notices to taxpayers by the end of the month. Are you prepared to get those calls? Do you have the credentials to help your clients by representing them in front of the IRS agents?
One way to do that is to earn an AFSP – Record of Completion or enrolled agent designation. NATP recently got together with two representation experts to discuss the pros and cons of adding IRS representation to your business offerings, how to go about adding these services and critical mistakes to avoid when starting out.
Another key topic covered in the discussion is preparer due diligence audits. With the IRS cracking down on preparer due diligence, it’s more important than ever to stay informed and ensure that you’re meeting all of the necessary requirements. Our panel of experts will be sharing their tips and best practices for meeting these requirements, helping you avoid any potential penalties or fines.
Here’s a quick five-minute preview of the roundtable discussion:
To watch the full discussion for free, simply go to natptax.com/taxestoday. You’ll be asked to create a free account if you don’t already have one, then will receive access to watch the video.
Full video transcript
Thanks for joining us again today for Taxes Today. I’m Sam Strong with NATP, and I have the pleasure of hosting this conversation. Today, I am joined by a longtime NATP member, New Jersey chapter leader, and NATP speaker Jason Daughtry. Jason is an enrolled agent, a self-employed financial advisor, and owner of Affirmative Financial Group. I’m also joined by Eric Green, another East Coaster from Connecticut. Eric is a tax attorney, author, law firm partner and founder of Tax Rep Network. Tax Rep Network is a partner of NATP. We’ll get into more of what they do a little bit later, but welcome gentlemen.
Yes. Today’s topic of discussion is tax representation. How did you get into it? What does it entail and what should tax professionals expect to see this year? So we’ll start with you, Jason. Can you start and tell us what led you to specialize in tax representation?
Honestly, for me it kind of… well, to be honest with you, Hurricane Sandy really, really did it. Eric, you’re from the East Coast, so I’m sure you remember Hurricane Sandy, and it was a lot of good people that ended up in bad situations, not just from a tax stand put, but life and those people that might’ve been honest on payment plans or whatever it may be, or lost documents, ended up in some real hot water, or at least in their mind, real hot water with the IRS. And amazingly, my office was not hit. It was like Forest Gump when the whole place around him went under, but except his boat, it was like my house and office was not hit. Everyone came to us. And so we started helping a lot of people. I mean, most people were currently not collectible and stuff like that, but it kind of opened my eyes that there’s a lot of people out here that need this kind of help. So that’s what pretty much got me into it and it’s just been rolling pretty much ever since.
And Eric, you presented cases in front of the US tax court and other federal courts. What was your journey to get there?
Well, sort of similar to Jason, I was an estate planner 22 years ago, and I had clients start get into trouble. And what I found is as I help them, you’d think people would keep their tax issues to themselves. No, no, no, no, no, no. They start referring friends and everything else, and today it’s basically all I do is representation. But what happens is you start helping people, and back then, I’m going to show my age, back then there were things at the IRS called human beings and you could talk to them and they actually trained me to do this.
You go meet with the revenue officers and say, “Look, you got to go do this, you got to do that today.” One of the challenges I think for new EA and CPAs in this area is they need to find training because you’re dealing with a more automated IRS, fewer local offices to deal with. But what happened for me at least, is you start kind of through the process, you’re handling an audit, you end up in appeals, and at some point you have to file in tax court, although I don’t do the heavy litigation, I have partners that do that. But it was sort of just I’d say trial by fire, but it wasn’t really fire, it was just you learn by doing.
Sink or swim almost. So Jason, many NATP members don’t have a designation, or it might only have their AFSP. In your experience, how did earning your enrolled agent designation elevate your practice?
Besides the money?
Well, I could say it allowed me to just do a lot more and help in a different way. I can’t give the EA credential all the credit because actually my wife coming on board, actually her taking over all the tax preparation allowed me to focus more on representation to the point like Eric just mentioned, I pretty much do all representation now.
Information included in this article is accurate as of the publish date. This post is not reflective of tax law changes or IRS guidance that may have occurred after the date of publishing. All taxpayer circumstances are different, and NATP recommends contacting research services if you have specific questions about your clients’ tax situations.