Tax Planning/Finding an EA

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Question
I live in Houston, TX and have processed my own federal returns for years, but this year I need to file my deceased mother's taxes and her small estate return, so I'd rather not do it myself. For the most part, I think I can do it, but there are a few questions I can't seem to find answers to. Places like Block, Jackson Hewitt are a joke. I worked there one year and realized I know much more than even the supervisors. I can't afford a lot and am hoping I can get good service and save a little money by going to an EA rather than a CPA. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the EA subject and how I would go about finding one in Houston.

Answer
Ed - This is a grEAt question!  EAs are known for being America's Tax Experts.  The best place to find a local EA is to visit the web site of our national association or even the Texas Association.

Here are their web sites...

http://www.naea.org  There should be a search feature for finding a local EA.  Simply place your zip code as a search criteria and see who comes up.  I'd do a little telephone interview with each of the ones you narrow down.  

http://txsea.org/ This is the Texas association web site.  Their search feature doesn't appear to be working at the present time, but you can probably call their office.

My suggestions is don't shop for price -- shop for the one who is the best fit.

Tax Planning

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OWEN S. ARNOFF, EA

Expertise

As an Enrolled Agent, I am fully capable of providing tax advice as it relates to personal and business income taxes. Enrolled Agents are the only Federally licensed tax practitioners and are admitted to practice before all administrative functions of the IRS. My specialty is working with small business owners who file Schedule "C" and helping them to structure their business in such a way as to maximize as many tax advantages as possible. I also enjoy working with individuals who have both routine as well as complex tax situations. I prefer to concentrate on individuals and small business tax planning.

Experience

I have a 25 year background in financial services including tax, bookkeeping, insurance, real estate and securities. I was previously the Chief Financial Officer of a local and national franchise organization. I am currently semi-retired, but used to own (in partnership with another EA) an individual and small business financial engineering firm where I work with nearly 2,500 individuals and small business owners in nearly every state and almost every continent, assisting them in all aspects of their tax and financial well-being. I have prepared or reviewed more than 8,000 tax returns in my career.

Organizations
National Association of Tax Professionals

Publications
http://www.amazon.com/Owen-Arnoff/e/B00BLRIZNU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_2

Education/Credentials
Enrolled Agent, Admitted to Practice Before the IRS, Accredited Tax Preparer, Fellow of National Tax Practice Institute, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor (1999-2011), Sleeter Group Certified QuickBooks Consultant, Life & Disability Insurance Agent License (California, Texas, Maine), Real Estate Agent License (California); Many years of continuing education in all these fields.

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