Perfect Your Tax Prep Skills!
June 28, 2016

Are you interested in attending NAEA’s National Conference but not sure if you want to tackle high-level representation education? Have no fear—the Tax Preparation Issues track is here! Those who hardly dabble in representation work can still attend the conference and reap the same benefits as those participating in the National Tax Practice Institute™ (NTPI®) … including those 24 hours of IRS-approved continuing education credits. Growing your practice doesn’t have to be about more clients – it can also result from preparing fewer, more complicated returns at a higher rate of payment.  To step up to a those complicated returns, you have to keep learning. The Tax Preparation Issues track is an engaging program designed to enhance the tax knowledge of participants. That’s why the Tax Prep track is led by some of the best and brightest instructors in the United States.

Who Should Enroll in the Tax Preparation Issues Track?

“I would recommend [it] to anyone who is or who is aspiring to be a Circular 230 practitioner,” says Laurie Ziegler, EA. The material presented in the courses is beneficial to those with decades of tax prep experience as well as newly-minted EAs who are just getting started. Ziegler states that attending the conference and participating in the Tax Preparation Issues track was an excellent way to share information and learn from her peers.

“All learning is good,” states Bill Nemeth, EA. Nemeth is the Chair of the Tax Preparation Issues track planning committee. “The Tax Prep track provides a mechanism for all tax professionals to increase their preparation skills to broaden their business models and command higher fees for more complex returns.” Nemeth suggests having a few years of preparation experience under your belt before enrolling, but suggests that new practitioners also have something to gain by attending.

What Will You Learn?

Ziegler calls the Tax Preparation Issues track “one of the National Conference’s best kept secrets.” With over twenty years of tax experience, she learns something new every year she attends. One year, the track covered the IRS granting compliance to non-profits that did not file for three years. “We discussed how to get the list of those nonprofits and how best to market ourselves to them,” Ziegler remembers. Best of all, she still has some of those organizations as clients today.

Jeff Gentner, EA, is an NTPI Fellow®, but doesn’t do much representation work. “As I go back to the National Conference each year,” Gentner says, “I have gravitated toward the Tax Preparation Issues track [because] I walk away with new information that makes me a better return preparer.” Gentner advises his colleagues to not be “one of those tax practitioners who feel they know everything about taxes.” He says that realizing that there is always something new to learn is key to running a successful practice—and the Tax Preparation Issues track keeps you up-to-date with best practices. As Gentner jokes, "you can teach an old dog new tricks!"

How Many Times Can You Participate?

Just like the tax code, the Tax Preparation Issues track subject matter changes every year—and each time you attend you’ll have the opportunity to network with dedicated professionals. Nemeth says that every year, his committee reviews the evaluations completed by participants of each session and honors suggestions when planning the next round of courses. They also research current trends to identify timely and challenging material that will appeal to a broad range of tax professionals. Year to year, the course material keeps you on your tax toes.

Gentner reiterates that he learns something new in each class and “[has] no problem coming back each year for more.” He says that he leaves each class with a number of important lessons that will assist him in his practice for years to come.

If you’re looking to attend NAEA’s National Conference, but don’t do much representation work, the Tax Preparation Issues track is for you. Members like Ziegler and Gentner encourage you to take advantage of this incredible opportunity and expand your tax knowledge beyond what you thought was possible. There’s always something new to learn and you’ll value the relationships you form with the world-class instructors and professional peers from across the country  If you’re interested in learning more about the Tax Preparation Issues track, contact Bill Nemeth, EA, Chair of the Track Preparation Issues Track Planning Committee (, or Alex Rosen, NAEA’s education coordinator (

Interested in registering for the 2016 National Conference? Click here!

Written by Julia Shenkar, NAEA's Communications Manager

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