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Mary the Tax
Professional, Experienced Tax Preparation and Bookkeeping Services
Mary Lloyd-Jones, Enrolled Agent
Spring Green, WI
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Frequently Asked Questions

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What kind of taxes do you do?

Isn’t it expensive to have you do my taxes?

The rules can’t change that much every year, can they?

What is an Enrolled Agent?

What kind of taxes do you do?
I offer Individual Tax Returns, Partnership Tax Returns, Estate & Trust Tax Returns, Bookkeeping Services, Payroll Services, Not-for-Profit Filings, and more.

Isn’t it expensive to have you do my taxes?

It depends.  If your tax return is fairly simple, and you enjoy doing it, go ahead.  As your life gets more complicated, preparing taxes becomes more time consuming and stressful. In fact, according to the IRS, it took an average of 37.8 hours to prepare the regular Form 1040 in 2006, even when using tax software. 

You should consider hiring a tax professional if any one of the following applies to you:

You have a relatively complicated return. That is, you have itemized deductions, capital gains/losses from investments, self-employment income, home sales, rental, AMT, etc. In addition to saving yourself from the stress and countless hours spent in preparation, an experienced tax professional should help you prepare accurate and audit-proof tax returns.

Your life changed in the past year. If you started your own business, bought a home, got married or divorced, started investing, changed jobs, or had other life changing events (like a flood!), you should work with a tax professional to make sure that your income is correctly reported and all allowed deductions are claimed.

You hate even thinking about taxes. If you do you’re not alone.  Tax laws are complicated & constantly changing.  The IRS can be scary.  You probably don’t spend your free time studying the tax code.

You don't have time. If you can't afford to spend days on preparing taxes (and who can?) or can't take on additional stress, you should have a tax professional prepare your taxes. Fees paid to a tax professional may be well worth the price if it means that you can do the things you’re good at and enjoy doing.

You need professional advice throughout the year. If you are concerned about your high tax bills year after year, or you need to know the tax consequences of a proposed action before you take it (yes, ask before you do it!) you should consult with a tax professional.

The rules can’t change that much every year, can they?

This year Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the Housing and Recovery Act, the Economic Stimulus Act, the HEROES Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act, the Energy Improvement and Extension Act, and the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act, all of which make significant changes to the tax laws.  The simplest are the changes in the inflation indexing (there are over 3 dozen this year).  There are changes to the depreciation rules, energy credits, Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), and several credits and deductions that had been scheduled to expire but were extended at the last minute.

Federal mileage rates changed in the middle of the year, there is a new, first-time homebuyer “credit” (really a loan), a property tax deduction for non-itemizers, and a dramatic change in the capital gains tax rate (it dropped to 0 – yes, zero – for some taxpayers).  There are changes to the “kiddie tax” and the “additional child tax credit” and new cars have been added to the list of vehicles eligible for the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit

There are all kinds of benefits for those in federally declared disaster areas (like Wisconsin) - and, of course, the economic stimulus payment you got this spring has to be reconciled on your 2008 tax return. 

What is an Enrolled Agent?

An enrolled agent (EA) is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the IRS for audits, collections, and appeals. EAs advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax reporting requirements. Enrolled agents prepare millions of tax returns each year. Only EAs are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in matters of taxation before they may represent a taxpayer before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation.

Enrolled agents are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice directly from the U.S. government (certified public accountants and attorneys are licensed by states and their licenses are state specific). After a stringent testing and application process, the IRS requires EAs to complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years (although our professional organization, of which I am a member, requires 90 hours), and adherence to a strict code of ethics and rules of professional conduct.

See the National Association of Enrolled Agents website for further information.  
Find Mary at the NAEA.  

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