Tax Career Questions

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thebbqguy
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Tax Career Questions

Post by thebbqguy » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:14 pm

Can anyone guide me on how I can get tax preparation education?

I'd like to progress to Enrolled Agent, but don't think you just jump in and begin studying for those exams without preliminary training.

Can anyone help me?

The Old Man
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by The Old Man » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:19 am

You should investigate H&R Block.

thebbqguy
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by thebbqguy » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:14 am

Thanks. I have looked into H&R. They have zero classes scheduled in my state unfortunately. The EA classes are already underway at the local community college for this cycle.

Jason
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by Jason » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:16 pm

I went to H&R Block for tax preparation classes. You have to keep in mind where H&R Block's are generally located and who comes in to use their services. So this is pretty much the extent of your tax preparation:

"Let's say a woman comes in. We'll call her "Shesgonnafuckyourbrainupgoodandplentyforsevenfuckingdollarsanhour". She's single, but lives in her mother's house, has three children from three different fathers, one who is married to another woman, one who is incarcerated and one who may or not be alive depending upon the last person who may or may not have saw him carrying a big bottle of orange juice and vodka ambling down the railroad tracks because it might have actually been his identical twin brother. There are also two other children in the house, one who is her sister's and who's father may be the twin brother of the other possible father of the child who may or may not be alive depending upon the last person who may or may not have saw him carrying a big bottle of orange juice and vodka ambling down the railroad tracks, the difference being that it might have actually been his identical twin brother who fathered this child, and the other child is the sibling of her child fathered by the incarcerated man she is not married to and another woman who may or may not have been married to the incarcerated man but that doesn't really matter anymore as she has been murdered, possibly by the possible father carrying a big bottle of orange juice and vodka ambling down the railroad tracks depending on who saw him last but definitely not his twin brother. Although the house is owned by the mother, she pays rent not in money but in a fungible sort of way by services rendered plugging and unplugging her mother's diabetes machine depending on whether they need the socket to use the laundry machine to receive under the table money from her neighbors in doing their laundry in an illegal commercial type of way. But because the electric bill exceeds the illegal business operation revenue, they are declaring a loss.

Now, please determine (1) can this woman legally claim her right of head of house hold, and (2) how many dependents may she claim (3) if you are one of the neighbors having them do their laundry in their illegal commercial laundry operation, do you have an obligation to disclose this information to the IRS in your dual role as their tax preparation expert.

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unemployable
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by unemployable » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:27 pm

Jason wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:16 pm
Now, please determine (1) can this woman legally claim her right of head of house hold, and (2) how many dependents may she claim (3) if you are one of the neighbors having them do their laundry in their illegal commercial laundry operation, do you have an obligation to disclose this information to the IRS in your dual role as their tax preparation expert.
Trick question. She makes no income the government knows about and they're not gonna go after someone like her anyway. Ask for her social, fill in zero everywhere. Five minutes of work. Also, this is every woman on PlentyOfFish.

Jason
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by Jason » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:41 pm

This must be your first Saturday morning. There is an assumption of a 1099-G.

thebbqguy
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by thebbqguy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:04 pm

I have not solved the training riddle yet.

There are several accreditation entities who offer online training but I prefer a classroom setting at least for some of it.

Most of the preparation offices around me are closed until January.

Jason
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by Jason » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:12 pm

thebbqguy wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:04 pm
Most of the preparation offices around me are closed until January.
I guess you and Ken Jennings both found out about that a little too late.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG2BWbpJRpc

thebbqguy
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by thebbqguy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm

LOL

thebbqguy
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by thebbqguy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:18 pm

I enrolled in the VITA program today and have access to those materials to get me started.

I talked to a co-worker today who is an Enrolled Agent and CPA. He was pretty encouraging about the EA program. I've got the ball rolling now at least.

I missed the Liberty Tax classes by about 2 weeks. I'll be better prepared next year. I've thought about this numerous times previously but never took the first step.

Jason
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by Jason » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:32 am

My basic point is this: I went to HR Block to learn something about money and taxes and possibly make part time income. Having a job and investments account made my financial situation more sophisticated than 99% of the HR Block clientele. And that makes sense as we are repeatedly told that most Americans don't have $400.00.

What I did learn was this weird sort of genealogy about complicated family situations. It was interesting from a puzzle solving perspective but I did not learn anything about money or taxes that I did not already know.

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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:24 am

The intro courses (which may get you hired if you're at the top of your class) are pretty basic. As you take and pass more continuing education courses, your level-rank (it's written on the name tag IIRC) increases and the front desk's system will route people with more complex returns to you. Once you're passed everything you get to deal with multi-business returns that earns $3000 in fees, etc. but if you're just starting as a first-year preparer, you get to deal with 1099s and counting dependents, etc. as they reserve their EAs for the more complex stuff.

The EA is at the very top and they can do every kind of return and also represent clients to the IRS in case of audits. Getting it requires 3 exams administered by the IRS. It's hard to pass (not everyone gets it on the first try) and you can compare it to the CFA or CPA of taxes (but just taxes, not tax planning or anything). It's a professional cert so there are also continuing education classes to pass in order to maintain it. Not everybody bothers to get it.

Career wise, it depends on where you work. What I've heard (DW is actually an EA) is that people working on the front lines (so not admin or corporate) either have 0-2 years of experience or 20+ years with few in between. The former consider it to be a springboard to a full time job or supplemental income to another job... but the latter have made a lifestyle out of it. A 20 year pro (or a rock star who has worked for a few years) will have a client list of hundreds or thousands that will come back next year and specifically ask for that person (the front desk system will assign repeat costumers to the original person). This means they can work 12 hour days for 4 months straight and essentially make $40,000 in wages and commissions during spring and then take the rest of the year off.

thebbqguy
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Re: Tax Career Questions

Post by thebbqguy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:13 pm

Thanks. This week has been very informative for me. I find the possibilities very interesting. I have a great job now, but that may not always be the case. I think developing this skill will provide some potential
that I don't currently have.

My wife is very interested in this line of work at this point. We have relocated several times for my career. This would definitely be a skill my wife could have leveraged a few times.

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