Since February 2011, the NYSSEA Tax Questions Group on "Google Groups" has grown to 127+ members. These members have exchanged over 1, 950 messages. There is room for more voices. The group is open to any EA who sends a request to John Sheeley, EA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
What members have been saying about the
... sometimes questions are answered in minutes, with expanded opinions occurring thereafter. It's a daily continuing professional education that truly is priceless.
Patrick O'Hara, EA
... it's GREAT to be able to bounce questions and ideas off the group - a group that (collectively) has experience in so many areas.
Martha Perry, EA
... Without networking, I don't think my practice would be half of what it is
Marilyn Stefans, EA
... I am a solo practitioner, working out of my home with no
staff or employees. The wealth of knowledge that has come out of this group is invaluable; the generosity and support offered by all who participate is
Phyllis Kubey, EA
... I think the Google group has become an outstanding way to share knowledge and to stay connected with fellow EAs in between chapter meetings and state conventions. I think it makes the whole group more accessible and gives us all a better idea of the specific areas of expertise we each have.
Ann Kummer, EA CPA
... I've just started my own tax practice, and though I'm here all by myself, having access to the interchanges between members of the tax-questions group is for me like working in a large, busy tax office where you can learn a lot from your more experienced colleagues who handle a wide variety of complicated tax problems. It's been a great and irreplaceable resource.
Henry G. Coryat, Jr, EA
1099-G Information Available Online
You can view and print 1099-G
for calendar year 2011 on the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance web site. Click here to View/Print 1099-G information for your clients.
NYS Department of Taxation and Finance has a new URL (address)
The new URL for the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance is:
To go directly to the Forms and Instructions page, use this link:
NYSSEA Members 2011
Frederick Ansong-Dwamena, EA
Patrick P. Astre, EA
Joseph F. Banach, EA
Kimberly Ann Bocchimuzzo
Thomas E. Bridgman, EA
Shari L. Buthfer, EA
Rosael Carreras-Morris, EA
Jinxia Chen, EA
Xiaoqing Chen, EA
Liping A. Clark, EA
Mary E. Cole, EA
Nicholas John Constantinou, EA
Barbara Coopersmith, EA
Denise E. Delisser, EA
Dennis P. Eagan, EA
Bruce E. Ermolovich, Sr.
David L. Fielding, Jr., EA
Jacinta Friend, EA
Alexis E. Gallati, EA
Allen Gibbs, EA
Mark J. Gillis, EA
Mark E. Glazewski
Eileen R. Goldwyn, EA
Gina C. Gomez, EA
Matthew L. Goslin, EA
Walter Gowens, EA
Mark Eric Green
Natashia L. Griffiths, EA
Avni Hajdarmataj, EA
Elizabeth Hall, EA
Elizabeth H. Helfrick-Guan
Anwarul Huque, EA
Diane R. Kosaka, EA
Debra Kravitz, EA
Eve Marion Lansing
Loyd Lemos, EA
Philip Levine, EA
Sharon L. Manna, EA
Shelley D. Martin, EA
Lee A. Mayfield
Karen G. McCrain
Edward McDowell, EA
Ralph P. Meleo, Jr, EA
Rodger O. Miller, EA
Fritz-Henry Moise, EA
Luz A. Morales
Edwin J. Murphy, EA
Yusuff A. Osinaike, EA
Franklin D. Pacheco, EA
Ernest Palmer, EA
Luis Parra, Sr., EA
Ada Kam Patruno
Jacquelyn Patricia Payne
Wynne E. Phillips
Dorothy P. Pross, EA
Woody Raymond, EA
Martin F. Reffsin, EA
Milton Rico, EA
Cybastian C. Rivers
Thomas Rogan, EA
Jesus Romero, EA
Sheryl Rubenbauer, EA
Richard Leo Ruffing, EA
Suzie Saphyr, EA
Kuldip Singh, EA
Kubair Sonilal, EA
William C. Sperounis, III, EA
Robyn M. Stephen
Kei C. Tang, EA
Christopher J. Tuttle, EA
Michael Vilardi, EA
Bernell C. Ward, EA
Katharine Marie Willis
Devon Lloyd Wilson, EA
Ralph B. Wright, Jr., EA
Have you seen to EITC Toolkit web site? Click here
for everything you need to know about the EITC.
Included on the site:
- EITC Due Diligence Training Module (CE available for EAs)
- Schedule C and Record Reconstruction Training
IRS's goals for EITC are to increase participation while reducing error. The resources in this kit help balance the goals, assisting you in reaching those eligible workers who qualify for the credit and preparing accurate returns which reduces claims made in error.
Know Your PTIN
Beginning January 1, 2012, Continuing Education (CE) Providers MUST report program completions by PTIN number. Be sure to have your PTIN available when attending any CE event to get the proper credits.
Click here for more information on Continuing Education for Tax Professionals.
Please give a thanks to New York Enrolled Agents who have willingly stepped up when National asked for a hand. It's not always easy to find the extra time and energy to do extra with our already full schedules, especially during tax season. These members feel it is important to the success of our organization to give a little more:
Vicki McGinn, EA (chair)
Betsey Buckingham, EA
Jeff Gentner, EA (chair)
Judy Strauss, EA
Frank Degen, EA (chair)
Betsey Buckingham, EA
Marc Dombrowski, EA
Evan Golar, EA
Public Relations Committee:
Sandra Martin, EA (chair)
Young Professionals Task Force:
Jamaal Solomon, EA
Judy Strauss, EA
Also important to note - in May, 2012, we will have three NYSSEA members sitting on the NAEA Board:
Frank Degen, EA
Betsey Buckingham, EA
Director - 2 year term:
Vicki McGinn, EA
Congratulations to this outstanding group of Enrolled Agents. When NAEA asks a fellow NYSSEAer to serve, they are showing respect to the entire group.
If you would like to see your name here, let Sam Matlick, CAE at NAEA know of your interest. They are always looking for new people to fill the chairs.
NAEA Annual Conference
Held at the beautiful Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. this is an excellent opportunity to meet and network with EAs from all over the world.
The National Tax Practice Institute™ (NTPIŽ) is known for the leading, face-to-face continuing education on IRS representation. The 2012 NAEA National Conference will also feature a robust Tax Preparation and an intensive Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) Review track for experienced tax preparers who have decided the time is right to become an EA.
This event includes 6 tracks, each offering 24 hours of education.
NYSSEA Communicates with members!
Have you been receiving the NYSSEA E-blasts? Judy Strauss, EA, NYSSEA President has made it one of her goals to provide breaking news and other tax-related information is an expedient manner and E-blasts have been the vehicle. If you have missed the most recent E-blasts, you can still see them by clicking on the links below:
originally sent 12/26/2011
originally sent 12/22/2011
originally sent 12/20/2011
Winter Newsletter - January 2012
As we get ready for the busy 2011 Tax Return Filing Season, the Board of Directors of NYSSEA wish you a prosperous and healthy New Year!
NYSSEA - 1981 - 2011
30 Years of Specializing in Taxation and Representation
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President for the period October 2010 through October 2012. It is a pleasure to represent such a fantastic group of Enrolled Agents. When I travel to outside functions and hear from other state leaders of the problems they encounter with their membership not volunteering, I wonder what they are doing wrong. There has not been one member, when asked to help, that has turned the leadership down. It has truly become YOUR organization. Thank you for that.
At the first board meeting in October 2010, I was asked what my goals were for my tenure. I answered that I wanted to see membership grow and to "organize the organization". I felt pretty confident with those answers. Our first step was to update the specialities list on the NYSSEA web site. I picked Laura Golar, EA to handle that task. She will tell you how overwhelming and time consuming it was, but it was completed before the end of tax season 2011. The response from membership was awesome. We had to limit the specialities to 3 per member, there were so many. Thank you if you were one of the submitters.
Membership is an ongoing project. This year's goal was accomplished. Just by sending emails to members whose dues were about to expire has saved some. The email letter lists all our accomplishments over the past 3 years. It is very impressive. The same letter, reworked some, is sent to new members to welcome them into the fold. I hear such good remarks on this. It doesn't take much to make a new member feel welcome.
When asked what my biggest challenge has been, I answered "communicating", both from me and by you all. Sometimes we expect colleagues to read our minds and know what we want. Have you taken notice of the massive amounts of e-blasts you are receiving? Between Jeff Gentner, EA and myself, we are trying to send information to you on a much more frequent basis. Our system of e-blasting seems to work well. Why wait till Friday to find out what you needed to know on Wednesday?
Then we have the Google Group! I am not going to go into detail on that means of communicating here. All you have to do is read the testimonials printed on the sidelines of this newsletter. I sent out an email asking participants to give a testimonial. It is so gratifying to read what they have to say about it. It's not too late to join. It is an ongoing process. We have exchanged information on over 2000 topics. You don't have to download the questions and answers into your mailbox. If you choose, you can just go to the Google Group on "Google" and read them. It is just that easy!
In this newsletter is a list of our New York members sitting on NAEA's board/committees. The number of NYSSEAs willing to devote extra time to help spread the word, re: Enrolled Agents, is fantastic. Just the notion that we are asked to help National shows the respect that is held for the group from NY. We are looked to for advice. Many of our practices are duplicated in other areas of the country. What's the greatest form of flattery?
NYSSEA was the first affiliate to obtain the IRS Education Approval from RPO for teaching unenrolled tax preparers. There is a whole group of preparers out there that should be sitting for the SEE. With the IRS behind us, we are hoping to help many of these pros become enrolled agents. Our goal is to be the organization they want to join when they do pass the Special Enrollment Exam. When you run into a non Circ. 230 preparer, talk us up. Someday it may be that preparer who buys you out and gives you the retirement you deserve.
You will soon be hearing gossip about our Annual Conference. It will be held October 19 through the 22, 2012. Watch for the information after tax season.
Thank you again for this opportunity. Without you all behind me, it would not have been so much fun!
Judy M Strauss, EA
Federal Military POA
STATUTE 10USC §§1044a and 1044b
REQUIREMENTS: Signature of principal upon POA must be acknowledged by a notary. Under 10 USC §1044a, persons with notarial powers for military POAs are as follows:
- All judge advocates, including reserve judge advocates when not in a duty status.
- All civilian attorneys serving as legal assistance attorneys
- All adjutants, assistant adjutants, and personnel adjutants, including reserve members when not in a duty status.
- All other members of the armed forces, including reserve members when not in duty status, who are designated by regulations of the armed forces or by statute to have those powers.
- For the performance of notarial acts at locations outside the United States, all employees of a military department or the Coast Guard who are designated by regulations of the Secretary concerned or by statute to have those powers for exercise outside the United States.
WITNESSES: No witness other than notary required to signature of principal
SIGNATURE OF AGENT: No requirement that the agent sign the POA
EFFECTIVENESS OF A FEDERAL MILITARY POA: Under the provisions of 10 USC §1044b, a military power of attorney is given effect even if it does not comply with state law. Specifically, pursuant to §1044b(a), "a military power of attorney (1) is exempt from any requirement of form, substance, formality, or recording that is provided for powers of attorney under the laws of a State; and (2) shall be given the same legal effect as a power of attorney prepared and executed in accordance with the laws of the State concerned."
FEDERAL MILITARY POA FORMALITIES: Section 1044b does not give a form for a military power of attorney. It says in §1044b(b) that a "military power of attorney is any general or special power of attorney that is notarized in accordance with section 1044a of this title or other applicable State or Federal law." The definition is broad and likely provides that any POA is valid so long as it is executed by a member of the armed forces of the United States and is properly notarized. Although no specific form is provided, §1044b(c) requires that the POA contain a statement, as prescribed by the Secretary, concerning the state law exemption. Department of Defense Directive No. 1350.4 requires that military POAs include a statement or preamble as follows: THIS IS A MILITARY POWER OF ATTORNEY PREPARED AND EXECUTED PURSUANT TO 10 U.S.C.A. §1044B, BY A PERSON AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE LEGAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE MILITARY SERVICES. FEDERAL LAW EXEMPTS A MILITARY POWER OF ATTORNEY FROM ANY REQUIREMENT OF FORM, SUBSTANCE, FORMALITY OR RECORDING THAT IS PRESCRIBED FOR POWERS OF ATTORNEY BY THE LAWS OF ANY STATE, COMMONWEALTH, TERRITORY, DISTRICT, OR POSSESSION OF THE UNITED STATES. FEDERAL LAW SPECIFIES THAT A MILITARY POWER OF ATTORNEY SHALL BE GIVEN THE SAME LEGAL EFFECT AS A POWER OF ATTORNEY PREPARED AND EXECUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE JURISDICTION WHERE IT IS PRESENTED.
PREPRINTED FORMS: Many military organizations have preprinted forms of powers of attorney, to hand out to service members, but use of such a form is not required by the statute.
submitted by Judy M. Strauss, EA
And the WINNER is....
Congratulations to this year's NYSSEA Awards Winners! At our Annual Conference in Albany (October 2011), Elizabeth (Betsey) Buckingham, EA was awarded the 2011 Founders Award and John Sheeley, EA received the 2011 Robert Nadel Above and Beyond Award. For the first time, NYSSEA President Judy Strauss, EA presented the President's Award for "extraordinary assistance to the NYSSEA President" to Jeff Gentner, EA.
Now is the time to start thinking about nominating someone from your Chapter for these awards. Click on the link to view and print the criteria, deadlines and additional nominating information.
Its Stance on
My purpose in reviewing this topic with you is to make you aware of your responsibility as a practitioner of the doctrine of due diligence.
The Internal Revenue Service seems to be asking tax preparers to exercise more care and diligence when preparing a tax return. In NY with the passage of the Marriage Equality Act we are going to be asked to make certain that the same gender couples have been duly married. When a same sex couple comes to your office you may be expected to see their marriage certificate.
Diligence is the continued effort to accomplish something. Due Diligence is the exercise of the proper care and effort that a reasonable person would expect from someone carrying out a task. The preparation of a tax return is a task that requires the exercise of due diligence. The Rules of Practice before the IRS, Circular 230, IRS requires preparers to exercise due diligence when preparing a return. (Circular 230 § 10.22)
Taxpayers are expected to exercise due diligence in substantiating their returns and when providing us, the preparer, information to prepare their return. The preparer community is expected to exercise due diligence when preparing the return and in taking positions on the tax return. The Internal Revenue Service is expected to exercise due diligence when taking positions on examination, collection and other areas. One such area, for example, is in the last known address. The courts have held that the IRS is to use reasonable diligence. What is reasonable? That is the question. And the answer will vary depending on the area of tax practice and the area of the return in question. The matter of what constitutes due diligence is often an area of contention between the preparer community and the Internal Revenue Service. The level of diligence required changes when the preparer is filing a return claiming the EITC or when positions that may be questioned are taken. It is important for you to understand what is required of you.
Circular 230 requires you to:
(a) In general. A practitioner must exercise due diligence - (1) In preparing or assisting in the preparation of approving, and filing tax returns, documents, affidavits, and other papers relating to Internal Revenue Service matters; (2) In determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by the practitioner to the Department of the Treasury; and (3) In determining the correctness of oral or written representations made by the practitioner to clients with reference to any matter administered by the Internal Revenue Service.(b) Reliance on others. Except as provided in §§ 10.34, 10.35 and 10.37, a practitioner will be presumed to have exercised due diligence for purposes of this section if the practitioner relies on the work product of another person and the practitioner used reasonable care in engaging, supervising, training, and evaluating the person, taking proper account of the nature of the relationship between the practitioner and the person.
reference: § 10.22 - Page 19
submitted by Donald Rosenberg, EA
A New Year: Time for Change?
Out with the old and in with the new! After celebrating the coming of a New Year, we turn our focus to gearing up for tax year 2012. While we are busy preparing end of year financials and information returns for our clients, we need to step back and reassess our business and what our expectation are for this year.
It is very easy to fall back on our "old" ways of doing things. Technology has forced us to step up our game. Clients expect more and more from us. We tend to be people pleasers, and want to do what is in the best interest of the client. But we need to make sure that what is in the best interest of our client is also in the best interest of our business.
How many times has a client come to you with a "quick" question? How many times did you speak to that client to gather the necessary information to identify the client's "real" question and perhaps do preliminary research before you answered that question? And most importantly, were you adequately compensated for your time, effort and expertise to address the issue? This is where many of us fall short (myself included). How many times were you frustrated because clients are not aware of the value you add to their lives?
While making our New Year's resolutions for losing weight, reading more, exercising more, spending more quality time with our loved ones, etc., we need to also make resolutions to improve the quality of our business, as well. Resolutions are pipedreams for many, but those who define their goals and measure the progress of their achievements, they are the true "winners" who create new, sustainable habits for life.
IBM, General Electric, Proctor and Gamble, H&R Block, etc. have not been profitable and sustainable entities by chance. These companies make better business decisions by identifying goals that are MEASURABLE, implementing the change and managing the change. Change in any organization must be tracked at multi-levels:
- The customer level: how clients perceive you, your working environment, their experience with you and your staff,
- The process: how the work flows, start to finish
- Staff: How does your staff manage stress, the customers, their jobs?
- Technology: are you using technology to your advantage?
- Public Perceptions: what does the public think of you or your firm?
- You: what is holding you back from achieving your ideal business?
At this point you might be thinking that you simply do not have time to deal with this now. If not now, then when? Change is nothing more than creating a new habit. Break it down into manageable pieces. If you want to eat healthier, then identify a new habit and incorporate that into your life, such as, I will eat a piece of fruit every day. Notice that the statement is positive. Negativity usually will not work, for example, I will NOT eat sweets - ever. This new habit will probably not be sustainable and could only create more stress.
The new habit (change) must be part of your overall resolution (business plan). Your business is most likely your biggest asset. Growing and sustaining your business should be managed. By growing and sustaining your business, you are also creating wealth. Where do you want to be in 5, 10, or even 20 years? Do you plan to sell your practice in the future? What is its marketability today and where do you expect it to be 20 years from now? By building on your experience and expertise, you can create not only new habits (change), you can create new wealth for your retirement.
A toast to you for an incredible 2012!
submitted by Liz Simeone, EA