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Talking taxes tonight with a nerd

It's been a crazy Monday.

It began with the regular start-of-the-week chaos:

  • Following up what I didn't finish last week,
  • Double checking what I'm supposed to finish this week (a tax story, a couple of book chapters and a Crazy Woman Driver column),
  • Writing a blog post, and
  • Slogging through out-of-control email boxes (yes, plural).

But on top of that, today I also had a doctor's appointment and have been working to schedule a physician's visit for my mother (either we're both sickly or hypochondriacs!).

So I'm taking the rest of the afternoon off!

OK, not off exactly.

CatherineZetaJones_WikimediaI'm going to be futzing with my webcam. I need to make sure the built-in microphone works and, more importantly, figure out how to get a small photo of Catherine Zeta-Jones (Hey! We're both brunettes!) pasted to the camera lens. I'm only half kidding.

Why the girlie concern about appearance? I'll be live on the Internet tonight (my time) talking with with Seth David, founder of Nerd Enterprises, Inc.

Seth provides financial accounting information and training to small businesses and he's got this wild idea that he can pull something useful out of an hour's online video chat with me.

Hey, if he's crazy and nerdy enough to believe that, who am I to argue!?

If you have an hour this late afternoon/evening -- we (or Seth and my Mrs. Michael Douglass photo if I can pull lit off!) go live at at 5 p.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. Mountain, 7 p.m. Central and 8 p.m. Eastern times.

To participate, add Seth to your circles on Google Plus or watch it on his YouTube channel.

Now I'm off to give myself a mini-facial and take a nap in case I, and not my CZ-J avatar, must appear on camera!

UPDATE: If you missed us live, the video is now posted. Audio alert: The sound begins as soon as you click on, so adjust your volume accordingly.


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Robert D Flach


I enjoyed your online interview.

However I must take exception with one comment you made about preferring to go to an EA, CPA or attorney for tax return preparation, rather then an RTRP.

It seems you have fallen into the trap of many of your journalist colleagues of thinking that a CPA is automatically a tax expert.

Absolutely nothing in the education, training or certification process of a CPA indicates that they know their arse from a hole in the ground when it come to 1040 preparation.

The one and only thing that the CPA designation means is that the person with the designation can certify an audit.

CPAs do NOT have to take any tax competency test (the CPA exam is not a test of 1040 knowledge by any stretch of the imagination), and they do not have to keep current in tax law by taking required CPE in federal income taxation.

An individual CPA may indeed be a tax expert - but it has nothing to do with the initials that appear after his/her name.

An Enrolled Agent by definition has taken a more extensive competency test than an RTRP, and has slightly higher CPE requirements - so I can understand possibly perhaps choosing an EA over an RTRP.

As with any other profession, it comes down to the specific education, training, experience, temperment, etc, etc of the individual tax professional. One cannot say an EA is better than an RTRP merely by definition of the designation. And one can certainly not say that a CPA is better for taxes than an EA or an RTRP.


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