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“America’s Tax Experts”
The cruel hoax of NAEA’s Strategic Planning
Copyright 2015 - aBIZinaBOX Inc
1
Comparison of Enrolled Agent “EA” and CPA Requirements
CPA EA
Education Required 150 hours - Master's
Degree
None
Represen...
Difference Between CPA & EA Skill Set
EA Competence Domain
The SEE contains three parts as follows:
● Part 1 - Individual
...
The Cruelty of “America’s Tax Expert”
● NAEA would have you believe that having EA’s focus on nothing but taxes is a posit...
What Do You Mean By A Cruel Curse
● One of the cruelest things I ever saw was maze on a paper placemat with the children’s...
“America’s Tax Experts” - The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer
● Let’s accept for a moment that the EA is the “sharpest knife ...
NAEA “locks” EAs Into A Clerical Role
● While any individual EA can augment skills
and obtain advanced education, it's on ...
Be Integral to Everything We Do
From File and Mail Clerks, to Administrative Assistants and beyond, your employment
opport...
Classification & Qualifications
GENERAL SCHEDULE QUALIFICATION STANDARDS
Internal Revenue Agent Series,
0512
Individual Oc...
Your talents, skills and experience could
be a good fit for a future as an Internal
Revenue Agent, Series 0512, Grade 5/7/...
Internal Revenue Agent, Entry Level
An entry-level position that opens possibilities? It's true.When you enter the IRS as ...
Internal Revenue Agent GS-0512
The reasons to bring your career to the IRS keep adding up. As an Internal Revenue
Agent, y...
Internal Revenue Agent Basic
Requirements for Positions GS-5 and
AboveInternal Revenue Agent Basic Requirements for Positi...
Additional Requirements for Grade GS-7
To qualify for a GS-7, you must meet the GS-5 qualifications and one of the
followi...
Additional Requirements for Grade GS-9
To qualify at the grade GS-9 level, you must meet the basic requirements for grades...
For positions at GS-12 and above: Qualifying experience must have been in progressively responsible and diversified profes...
Graduate Education
May have been in accounting, or with completion of the basic requirements described above, may have bee...
Advancement Opportunities
Our advancement opportunities are excellent. The rate of progression to more complex
and demandi...
Quality of Experience
While experience may be in a variety of types of professional, administrative, technical,
investigat...
I Search RS
Careers Website
j STUDENTS & RECENT GRADS HOME j WORKI NG
AT IRS j
OPPORTUNITIES j EVENTS
j
HOW TO APPLY j Who...
Experience Calculator
Use this tool to find out what grade you are
eligible for!
Not quite sure what your Work Experience ...
IRS Is Pretty Clear About What They Are Looking For
● IRS want the same thing the private sector wants
● Bright people wit...
“Educating America”
● Strongly advocating for the implementation of NAEA's "Educating America"
initiative, a critical diff...
National Tax Professional Institute “NTPI” Becomes Part of EA and CPA Tracks
To Merge Into the ATC
● Seeking to have NTPI ...
Advanced Tax Credential
Becoming A Necessity Due To Specialization
● The ATC could become a certificate program that essen...
● EA Differentiator Initiatives
○ Eliminating the Tax Court option for non-attorneys because it doesn't pay for itself.
○ ...
AICPA Needs To Lead On CPA - Non-CPA Interface Tasks and The Cloud
● AICPA and NASBA harmonizing the accounting procedures...
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“America’s Tax Experts” - A Cruel Hoax

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This is a working draft written by Jordan S. Zoot CPA of aBIZinaBOX Inc. It offers observations and commentary with respect environment for tax professoinalas in the United Stated

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“America’s Tax Experts” - A Cruel Hoax

  1. 1. “America’s Tax Experts” The cruel hoax of NAEA’s Strategic Planning Copyright 2015 - aBIZinaBOX Inc 1
  2. 2. Comparison of Enrolled Agent “EA” and CPA Requirements CPA EA Education Required 150 hours - Master's Degree None Representation Rights Under Circular 230 Unlimited Unlimited Jurisdiction Entire United States* Entire United States Competency Testing By Waived IRS Special Enrollment Exam Occupation Classification Professional Admin./Clerical *With the CPA Mobility Act - CPA Mobility Resources 2
  3. 3. Difference Between CPA & EA Skill Set EA Competence Domain The SEE contains three parts as follows: ● Part 1 - Individual ● Part 2 - Business ● Part 3 - Representation, Practice and Procedures ● Source: IRSWebsite http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Enrolled-Agents/Enrolled-Agents-Frequently-Asked-Questions Uniform CPA Examination Content Specification ● CPA Content Specification is fifty page long and covers a broad range of business subjects - Like the SEE income tax plus auditing, financial reporting, accounting, regulation, and business law topics. ● The full Content Specification Outline is here be found at CSOs/SSOs Effective January 1, 2015 ● Additional Reference Sources on Content -CPA Exam Content Reference 3
  4. 4. The Cruelty of “America’s Tax Expert” ● NAEA would have you believe that having EA’s focus on nothing but taxes is a positive attribute ● The approach puts EA’s at a disadvantage relative to CPA’s in that the expansion and augmentation of their skills is up to an individual's desires and motivations - many EA’s take it upon themselves to obtain as much and sometimes more education than individual CPAs ● There is nothing required for qualification and commercial law or computers and technology ● Many EA’s have broad skills and the potential to acquire more. NAEA has effectively perpetuated a cruel twisted view akin to following the rabbit with “Alice Through The Looking Glass” ● EA’s are potentially being locked into what is essentially a highly specialized set of procedure oriented clerical tasks focused on dealing with the IRS on the procedures of tax administration 4
  5. 5. What Do You Mean By A Cruel Curse ● One of the cruelest things I ever saw was maze on a paper placemat with the children’s menu -The maze was deliberately designed to be impossible to win ● NAEA has done the same thing to the EAs through ○ Lack of an education requirement ○ Lack of forward thinking training to keep pace with the advance of technology 5
  6. 6. “America’s Tax Experts” - The Sharpest Knife in the Drawer ● Let’s accept for a moment that the EA is the “sharpest knife in the drawer” for taxes ● The CPA is a bit duller but capable with the taxes, and has a much broader toolbox of skills ● Try an experiment - the EA can use his sharp knife and the CPA gets to use a hammer - hand both six 16 penny nails ask them to pound them all the way in ● It would be an understatement to say that the EA with the sharp knife fails miserably with the nails 6
  7. 7. NAEA “locks” EAs Into A Clerical Role ● While any individual EA can augment skills and obtain advanced education, it's on the individual ● The EA skill set is clerical NOT professional ● Who says so? ○ I did in a blogpost that you can read here ○ So did the IRS 7
  8. 8. Be Integral to Everything We Do From File and Mail Clerks, to Administrative Assistants and beyond, your employment opportunities in our Administrative and Clerical area are perhaps the most wide-ranging that we offer. They focus on providing direct support to management and technical professionals in every one of our business divisions and functional units. They also provide equally as far- ranging locations in which you can work. These positions are available in our Service Centers ,field offices, throughout our headquarters and in Washington, DC and the surrounding area. Work in Our Service Centers If you're interested in learning more about these opportunities, we encourage you to find out about the specific openings available in our Service Centers and contact the Center nearest you. Work in Our Field Offices If you'd like to consider a position in our field offices, Washington, DC headquarters and surrounding locations, go ahead and search for a career opportun i ty 8". Unrivaled Growth Potential When you join us, you'll find yourself interacting with IRS personnel at all levels -most often with other co-workers, supervisors and managers. You may also have direct contact with taxpayers, especially in our Service Centers . No matter where you work, you will know you are a key member of our team because, in addition to varied personal contact, you will enjoy growth and advancement potential that is truly boundless. By furthering your education,taking on new responsibilities and demonstrating a willingness to travel,you can rise to any level you desire.Additional training is always available ,and you can take advantage of our HR Investment Fund that provides financial support for applicable educational courses. Qualifications Think you'd like to explore our Administrative and Clerical openings. To qualify, you must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma or the equivalent, have proof of US citizenship and be able to pass work/skills testing. ( top of page J The IRS “locks” individuals without a college degree or a CPA certificate into a clerical path stopping at GA-5 8
  9. 9. Classification & Qualifications GENERAL SCHEDULE QUALIFICATION STANDARDS Internal Revenue Agent Series, 0512 Individual Occupational Requirements RELATED INFORMATION 1. Degree: accounting, that included at least 30 semester hours in accounting or 24 semester hours in accounting and an additional 6 semester hours in related subjects such as business law, economics, statistical/quantitative methods, computerized accounting or financial systems, financial management, or finance. Associated Group Standard Use the Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions for this series in conjunction with the Individual Occupational Requirements described below. Basic Requirements or 2. Combination of education and experience: equivalent to 4 years that included courses equivalent to a major in accounting, i. e., at least 30 semester hours in accounting or 24 semester hours in accounting and 6 semester hours in related subjects as described in A above, in combination with appropriate experience or additional education. Certificate A certificate as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) obtained through written examination in a State, territory, or the District of Columbia meets the requirements for GS-5. Applicants with CPA certificates may also qualify for higher grade levels based on their education and/or experience . 9
  10. 10. Your talents, skills and experience could be a good fit for a future as an Internal Revenue Agent, Series 0512, Grade 5/7/9 An independent and proactive decision-maker, you will conduct field examinations of individual taxpayers and small businesses to determine liability. You will use the latest in computers, telecommunications and data management systems, and apply your knowledge of Internal Revenue Code, rulings, court decisions, agency policies, regulations and more. More information about Internal Revenue Agents » 10
  11. 11. Internal Revenue Agent, Entry Level An entry-level position that opens possibilities? It's true.When you enter the IRS as an Internal Revenue Agent, you build a broad set of practical skills through multiple training opportunities. You'll also have plenty of diverse career tracks to consider as you experience swift career progression. Internal Revenue Agents have GS-5f7/9/11 career ladders -which means they can enter as a Grade 5 and advance to a Grade 11 without competition. It's a great place to start. In fact, many members of our leadership and executive teams first began their career as an Internal Revenue Agent. As an Internal Revenue Agent, you'll be a proactive decision-maker, working side-by-side with customers, businesses, CFOs, CEOs and the legal and financial communities. You'll use the latest in computers, telecommunications and data management systems. Interacting with taxpayers, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and more, you'll display a keen knowledge of changing tax laws and accounting practices, as well as various types of businesses and industries. Your work will be to educate, assist and counsel. In addition to the substantive and rewarding work, you can take satisfaction in knowing that you're serving your nation. You'll also enjoy an outstanding work-life balance, great insurance, and retirement benefits you can keep throughout your federal career. And if you want to continue your formal education, the IRS has a great tuition assistance program. Internal Revenue Agent requirements include US citizenship, plus either a four-year degree or experience along with 30 semester hours of accounting coursework. For more information, please view or download the following: • Internal Revenue Agent. GS-0512 information • Basic Requirements for Positions GS-5 and Above • Application Procedures You may receive email notification of our Internal Revenue Agent openings by becoming a registered user at How to Apply. Even if you do not wish to register at this time, you may review a list of our current openings. When you do register, you will be able to apply online. If you have significant professional accounting experience, click here to learn about our senior-level Internal Revenue Agent careers. [top of page ] Get your first job with us.. . « Search & Apply » 11
  12. 12. Internal Revenue Agent GS-0512 The reasons to bring your career to the IRS keep adding up. As an Internal Revenue Agent, you'll be a proactive decision-maker, working with customers, businesses, CFOs, CEOs and the legal and financial communities. You'll leverage the latest in computers, telecommunications and data management systems. You will be responsible for planning and conducting onsite examinations. You will regularly work with taxpayers; their representatives, certified public accountants and tax attorneys. In the IRS' Small Business and Self-Employed (SB/SE) division, you'll conduct examinations of individuals and small businesses to determine federal tax liability. In our Tax-Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) division, you will ensure the compliance of tax-exempt organizations and government entities. Agents in our Large Business and International Division (LB&I) division work on large corporate cases. You will not find many careers that are this varied and this challenging. Nor will you find many opportunities to make independent decisions involving thousands of dollars as early in your career as you will with the IRS. Training As a new agent, you'll receive both classroom and on-the-job training. Classroom training covers subjects such as tax law, report writing, fraud detection, taxpayer relations, research and examination techniques. This is followed by a period of on-the-job training under the guidance of an experienced agent. You will then be given a more comprehensive and structured program combining classroom with computer-based training concentrating on the more complex areas of the tax law affecting individuals, corporations and partnerships. To stay abreast of the latest changes and developments in federal tax law, Internal Revenue Agents are provided continuing professional education opportunities throughout their career. There is no better place to study and apply accounting and taxation than at the Internal Revenue Service. Get your first job with us.« Search & Apply » ' 12
  13. 13. Internal Revenue Agent Basic Requirements for Positions GS-5 and AboveInternal Revenue Agent Basic Requirements for Positions GS-5 and Above For entry at the GS-5 level,you must have a bachelor's degree or higher in accounting from an accredited college or university that included at least 30 semester hours in accounting. These 30 hours may include up to 6 semester hours in any combination of courses in business law, economics, statistical/quantitative methods, computerized accounting or financial systems, financial management or finance. You may also qualify at the GS-5 level if you meet one of the following requirements: A. You have at least 4 full years of progressive academic study (120 semester hours) at an accredited college or university that included at least 30 semester hours in accounting as outlined above; OR B. You have a Certificate as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) obtained through written examination in a state, territory or the District of Columbia; OR C. You have a combination of education and experience that included at least 30 semester hours in accounting as outlined above. About Education Requirements One full year of undergraduate academic study is defined as 30 semester hours and is equivalent to one year of full-time experience. If your credits are in quarter hours, multiply the number of quarter hours you have earned by 2/3 to determine the number of equivalent semester hours. Your accounting coursework must have been such that it would serve as a prerequisite for more advanced study in the field of accounting. This means that the courses should be acceptable toward an accounting degree by a four-year college or university, and must include upper-level courses normally taken during the junior and senior years at a four- year college or university. Your coursework should reflect your knowledge of principles, intermediate and advanced accounting, cost accounting and auditing. Click here for examples of qualifying courses. Get your first job with us. « Search & Apply » ' 13
  14. 14. Additional Requirements for Grade GS-7 To qualify for a GS-7, you must meet the GS-5 qualifications and one of the following requirements: A. You have earned Superior Academic Achievement: A bachelor's degree with either a 3.0 (''B") GPA overall or 3.5 (''B+") on a 4.0 scale in all accounting courses. You may also qualify under this requirement if you ranked in the upper one- third of your graduating class. You may also qualify if you possess membership in a national scholastic college honorary society above the freshman level that meets the requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies; OR B. You have at least one year of graduate education in accounting, business, finance, law, economics, management, statistical/quantitative methods or computer science; OR C. You have at least one year of experience equivalent to the GS-5 level that required knowledge of, and skill in, applying principles, concepts and methodology of professional accounting and related fields; and skill in communicating and dealing with others; OR D. You have at least one year of combined graduate education and experience as defined in paragraphs (B) and (C) above. 14
  15. 15. Additional Requirements for Grade GS-9 To qualify at the grade GS-9 level, you must meet the basic requirements for grades GS-5 and above, and have one of the following: A. A master's or equivalent degree, or two academic years of graduate education in accounting or the fields of business, finance, law, economics, management, statistical/quantitative methods or computer science; OR 8. At least one year of experience equivalent to the GS-7 level that required knowledge of and skill in applying the principles, concepts and methodology of professional accounting and related fields, and skill in communicating and dealing effectively with others; OR C. At least one year of combined graduate education and experience as defined in paragraphs (A) and (8) above. Only graduate education in excess of the amount required for the GS-7 level may be combined with experience to qualify for GS-9. 15
  16. 16. For positions at GS-12 and above: Qualifying experience must have been in progressively responsible and diversified professional accounting or auditing work that required 1) knowledge of and skill in applying professional accounting principles, theory, and practices to analyze and interpret accounting books, records, or systems specifically to determine their effect on Federal tax liabilities and their adequacy for recording transactions affecting tax liabilities; 2) skill in interpreting and applying Federal tax law for individuals, business, and/or exempt organizations, partnerships, and corporations; 3) knowledge of business and trade practices to develop tax issues based on analysis and evaluation of overall business operations and financial condition; 4) knowledge of corporate financial transactions and financial management principles and practices; and 5) skill in interacting effectively with a broad range of individuals and in negotiating with specialists in accounting, legal,tax, and other similar business-related professions. Some positions may require additional specialized knowledge and skills, such as those dealing with employee benefit plans, exempt organizations, excise tax, computer auditing, and international or specialized industry/market segment programs. Additional Requirements Employment is conditional on a satisfactory report of background investigation, including a tax audit, conducted when and as may be necessary under the security requirements of the Internal Revenue Service. 16
  17. 17. Graduate Education May have been in accounting, or with completion of the basic requirements described above, may have been in a related field such as business, finance, law, economics, management, statistical/quantitative methods, or computer science. The key consideration in determining if such graduate education should be credited is whether or not it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities identified as necessary to perform the work at the grade level of the position being filled. Specialized Experience Qualifying specialized experience for positions at grades GS-7/11 may have been in accounting, auditing, tax, financial, legal, or other work that required: For GS-7 and GS-9: 1) Knowledge of and skill in applying the principles, concepts, and methodology of professional accounting and related fields, and 2) skill in communicating and dealing effectively with others. For GS-11: 1) Knowledge of and skill in applying professional accounting principles, concepts, and methodology to the examination of accounting books, records, and systems; 2) skill in interpreting and applying tax law for individuals and business and/or exempt organizations; 3) knowledge of business and trade practices to analyze business operations and financial conditions; and 4) skill in interacting effectively in a wide range of situations with a broad range of individuals. 17
  18. 18. Advancement Opportunities Our advancement opportunities are excellent. The rate of progression to more complex and demanding work depends on your knowledge, skills, ingenuity and initiative. You would typically begin your IRS career at grade GS-5, 7 or 9. Your actual salary will be determined by your grade and geographic location. Complete information on the federal salary schedule 8" can be found here. Based on your job performance, you may qualify for a promotion without competition about once a year up to GS-11. Internal Revenue Agents compete for promotion to the GS-12 and GS-13 levels. Vacancy announcements at these grade levels are based on staffing and program needs. Depending on your career goals and performance, competitive promotional opportunities exist at higher supervisory levels. Career Paths Internal Revenue Agents typically follow one of two major career paths. One is as a tax generalist or a specialist in taxation related to a particular area of tax law or to a particular industry. The other career path is management. In the IRS, we typically select our managers from the ranks of our technical professionals. Other opportunities may include taxpayer assistance, public speaking assignments, temporary assignments to a task force studying a particular issue, or as a coach or instructor for a new group of trainees. Whichever route you follow, you will find many opportunities to expand your skills. Benefits include: • Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) • Health and Life Insurance Plans • Tax Deferred Thrift Savings Plan (Employee and Government Contributions) • Flexible Work Schedules • Immediate Accrual of Vacation and Sick Leave • Excellent Promotional Opportunities • Career Stability • Career Progression • Locations Across the US • A Well-Balanced Quality of Life 18
  19. 19. Quality of Experience While experience may be in a variety of types of professional, administrative, technical, investigative or other responsible work, it must demonstrate ALL of the following: • Ability to recognize, identify, analyze and evaluate data. • Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work. • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing. General clerical experience is not qualifying. Complete Qualifications Information We've given you general knowledge of the qualifications needed to be considered for an Internal Revenue Agent position. For complete information on the qualifications you need to become an Internal Revenue Agent, we encourage you to review the Individual Occupational Requirements for the RA.I GS-0512 series here 8". The IRS is an equal employment opportunity employer. Applicants are assured of equal consideration regardless of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, lawful political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, membership or nonmembership in an employee organization or non-disqualifying physical or mental disability. The IRS is committed to ensuring that all employees perform in a manner warranting the highest degree of public confidence and demonstrate the highest level of ethics and integrity. [top of page ] 19
  20. 20. I Search RS Careers Website j STUDENTS & RECENT GRADS HOME j WORKI NG AT IRS j OPPORTUNITIES j EVENTS j HOW TO APPLY j Who Are You? - WORKING AT IRS Overview Benefits Divers ty People with Disab Lllt • Veteran Hiring Employee Profit• Training Curriculum Help If you want to build the kind of career that enables growth for the entire nation,the IRS is the right place for you. There are more career opportunities here than you may have realized -it takes the talents of many professionals to help America achieve more. Not sure what kind of career with the IRS you should pursue? Answer these five questions to find out what potential careers will make the best of your talents and skills within the agency that's funding America's future. « Click to Start » 20
  21. 21. Experience Calculator Use this tool to find out what grade you are eligible for! Not quite sure what your Work Experience and Education is equivalent to? Try the Experience Calculator! The purpose of the Experience Calculator is to assist you in determining which grade you are qualified for. Start Now! Note: Use the information in the vacancy announcement for which you are applying and ONLY include the experience and education directly related to the position. Part I To begin, select a Grade. 0 Grade 5 Grade 7n- Grade 9n- Grade 11 Part II Please provide your work experience. Hours per week worked:LJ Number of months worked:0 Part Ill Now, select your highest level of college education. C1 Bachelor's Degree or Higher C-1 No Degree, Some Undergraduate Education0No College Calculat e Cance l Clos e 21
  22. 22. IRS Is Pretty Clear About What They Are Looking For ● IRS want the same thing the private sector wants ● Bright people with the right education ● Accounting, accounting, accounting ● Technology ● Broad Based Business Skills ● CPA Certificates ● Graduate Degrees ● I didn’t say it THEY DID 22
  23. 23. “Educating America” ● Strongly advocating for the implementation of NAEA's "Educating America" initiative, a critical differentiator. ● Without it IT looks and smells too much like RTRP ● Explicit acknowledgment that while EA is a professional under CIrcular 230, it is an entry-level credential that gets folks into the profession. ● This is in sharp contrast to CPA’s, for whom paying for six years of school is a real burden. ● The EA has alway had the option to augment education why not harmonize all of the education tracks for tax professionals 23
  24. 24. National Tax Professional Institute “NTPI” Becomes Part of EA and CPA Tracks To Merge Into the ATC ● Seeking to have NTPI Fellow status recognized as the Representation component of training for tax professionals. ● Possibly creating an A+ credential to recognize the EA's that complete it ● Making NTPI Fellow status mandatory for both CPA’s and non-CPA’s to be eligible to obtain the ATC ● EAs would have to complete a graduate degree to be eligible to obtain the ATC ● Everything is now harmonized at the top 24
  25. 25. Advanced Tax Credential Becoming A Necessity Due To Specialization ● The ATC could become a certificate program that essentially fills in the holes between a high quality MST and an LLM Tax ● Thus the path to the top is CPA - MST, JD-LLC or EA, NTPI and ATC ● Consider Requiring CPA-MST to complete NTPI ● THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT THAT IS MISSING IS DIALOGUE ON A PROCESS AND THE BLAME FOR BELONGS TO NAEA AND NATP FOR PERPETUATING THE FALLACY THAT EA IS WHAT IT ISN’T ● DOESN’T REFLECT ON THE INDIVIDUAL EA ITS THE CULTURE THAT HAS BEEN CREATED 25
  26. 26. ● EA Differentiator Initiatives ○ Eliminating the Tax Court option for non-attorneys because it doesn't pay for itself. ○ Getting control of statements that are either untrue of substantially twisted in their use, for example: ■ Doing something to control the rabid misuse of phrases like "America's Tax Experts", statements that fail to ignore the CPA Mobility Act, clarification that the EA being regulated by Treasury and attorneys and CPA's being regulated by states is not a meaningful distinction due to OPR's function ○ If the item highlighted in yellow is addressed great, let ATC be available to CPA's and non-CPAs. If the highlighted item can't be controlled have the ATC recognized AICPA and ABA as superior to everything else, and perhaps seek same recognition from Treasury or even go so far as to have it included in the next procedure legislation. 26
  27. 27. AICPA Needs To Lead On CPA - Non-CPA Interface Tasks and The Cloud ● AICPA and NASBA harmonizing the accounting procedures and report under SSARS-21 to include explicit reference to EA's and non-CPAs ● Explicit guidance is needed for the use of cloud software - AICPA needs to take the lead in making standardized reports and tools available in the software add on marketplaces ● Professional standards for things like peer review, licensure, etc still apply in the clouds 27

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