Tuesday, December 20, 2011


At one point during the first day of the recent NATP year-end tax update workshops someone asked – “What would happen under a flat tax?”

In response an audience member called out, “We would all be out of business!”

This is not true!  I have said it before and I will say it again – a simpler tax return will not in any way hurt my business.  Nor should it substantially affect your tax practices.

I would make more money, have fewer expenses, and experience much less agita, if I spent 12 hours each day of the tax season doing nothing but 1040As!

The main reason most of my clients use a paid tax preparer, regardless of the complexity of their returns, is for convenience.  They just don’t want to be bothered keeping up with tax law and preparing the return themselves.  

And let’s face it – regardless of who is in the White House we will never have a true, pure “flat tax”.  We will never see the ridiculous, but frequently proposed, “post card tax return”.  There will always be some “tax expenditures” in the Code – even if, hopefully, only a very few.  Even my tax reform proposals include some.

And even with a pure flat tax you still need to determine “income”.  There will always be a need for some form of Schedules C, D, E and F, and therefore there will always be a need for a paid tax preparer.

I am curious to hear what my fellow tax pros think.

While I have your attention I just want to mention something else that we learned during the first session - 

This is apparently the last year that NATP will be offering the TAXPRO Symposium package in its current format.  Beginning next year the package will be three days only – the first day will cover the topic of “Representation”, and days two and three will be the normal “  and “ offerings.  Personally I have no interest in Representation, so it will be only two days of workshops for me in the winter of 2012.  I will be attending the Annual Conference in Baltimore in July – so I will accumulate many. many more than the newly required 15 hours of CPE.  


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