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Phoenix EA exam materials

Susan To answer your question, I did pass the first section of the exam ... just last week... on my first try. Here's the funny thing. When I went to schedule the exam, I thought I was clicking on June 20th... but by accident clicked on May 20. So I shortened my study time by 30 days, but still passed. I had studied on and off for about a year. The Phoenix materials are very thorough. A lot of stuff that was tested, I was way over educated on. Other stuff, I didn't know where they got the questions from, or even what they were asking. Nonetheless, it's over, and I passed. Now on to the 2nd section on business taxes... Anchorman 13:34, 25 May 2010 (CDT)

EA Prep


Actually, I probably never had higher than a 65% to 70% in the Gleim Test sessions. I had one with an 80% or so by that was on the Income Section only, not on the full comprehensive exam.

For me I think that I needed to focus my study on the specific subjects that were going to be tested. Having taken the test once certainly helped, but I surely don't want to take each exam twice due to the time and expense involved.

What I noticed was that the Gleim Test Sessions were actually a little more difficult than the actual exam. I also noticed that the second time I took the exam, I had pretty much the same questions as the first attempt. That was quite a surprise because with the computer adaptive type of test, I expected to get completely different questions, or even a different mix and quantity of subjects tested, but this was not the case.

For part 2 I am following the same approach I took my second time around on part 1. I go through the outline, and I take notes for each subject covered. I essentially end up rehashing the Gleim text, but I try to condense it into my own words where possible. At the same time I am doing the test sessions and building on the material as I go. My numbers in terms of percentage correct on the test sessions tended to be all over the place for part 1....I would go from 55% to 70% with no additional study in between. For me it really is about the mix and match of questions that I get.

My main concern for part 2 is covering all of the material on the outline, and then trying to hone in on what will be heavily emphasized on the exam. As I mentioned, there was another thread where someone said that she had been hearing from folks that took parts 1 and 2 and that IRA questions figured heavily on both exams as well as anything to do with retirement plans for part 2. This makes sense to me since we are entering a period where a lot of baby-boomers will be retiring so it makes sense for the IRS to focus on these subjects. I take part 2 on Sept 25th. I am probably going to schedule part 3 this week for sometime in October. I can't wait to get this done. Good luck to you.

BTax2010 11:55, 1 September 2010 (CDT)

In terms of the EA Exam question order, it seems that I did get questions that were loosely grouped by subject. For instance I tended to get 2 or 3 IRA questions in a row, and then 2 or 3 Gift Tax/Estate Tax questions in a row.....however, the exam is not necessarily organized that way. In other words, I think that they just happened to design the test to have similar questions together to a certain extent. There are no section headings to tell you that you are going to get a particular group of questions, and how many questions that will be. The test is set up to be totally random. They can make it as easy or as difficult as they want with the vast amount of material they have.

BTax2010 14:56, 8 September 2010 (CDT)

Search and posting suggestions

You posted a follow-up question on MFS/itemizing today, but it's at the end of an old Consumer Question, and thus will not appear on the tax forum index. That may reduce the number of responses you get.

There are really quite a few discussions on this, some of which get into specifics, but to get you re-started, I'd suggest this search: itemize MFS split -consumer. That last search term eliminates any discussions that are on the consumer forum.

Here's another one that's probably good, too: Search split "mortgage interest" -consumer. Remember that the discussions started most recently will be at the bottom of the search results (although scanning the titles, some of the older ones at the top seem like they could be really helpful to you!), and here are some more Hints and Tips on How to Search on TaxAlmanac.

It's also important to know if you're in a CP state, so be sure to mention that if you happen to repost your question on another discussion (this would be one of the rare situations where you might get away with posting a duplicate Q (for best results, go back to that consumer discussion where you posted the original question and edit it to delete your entire post - info on editing is in the Discussion:Frequently Asked Questions).

I don't know that any of the discussions in these searches (or others) will get into the "split the 8829" question you had, but if you're not in a CP state and you follow the general consensus of the discussions in those searches linked above (he who pays/incurs, deducts), that question might become moot? Not enough info in your current question to tell for sure.

Good luck,

Trillium 19:22, 23 February 2011 (UTC), edited Trillium 19:29, 23 February 2011 (UTC) to add a bit to the first paragraph, and edited again to add last paragraph, Trillium 20:02, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Message from Jake

As with the federal, the 4th estimated payment for 2010 Ohio State, School District and City taxes are due in Jan. 2011. So they apply to those 2010 Ohio returns. But if made in Jan. 2011 a cash basis taxpayer can't include them on the 2010 federal Sch A. They are included then on the 2011 Sch A. I instruct my clients to pay that 4th estimated payment in December so we can include it on that year's Sch A. But that Sch A treatment is all federal law - I would have expected an enrolled agent to be familiar with that, but after all, experience is the best teacher. Long term case insurance is an adjustment to income in Ohio, as is unsubsidized medical insurance generally. Part B is subsidized. Part D? Who knows. I suppose Ohio might also consider it subsidized Total medical expenses that exceed 7.5 of AGI are an adjustment to income - many seniors who do not itemize at the federal level still get a break on the Ohio return for these medical expenses, or at least for their Medicare Supplement premiums. Military pensions are now tax exempt. Why the Ohio legislature did that I don't know. I never include underpayment penalties on federal, Ohio state or city returns. The feds don't seem to bill for that unless it is above a certain amount and their number is always lower than what my computer says it should be. Ohio and many cities rarely bill for it at all. If you have the time I would recommend that you take the H&R Block course next fall - it's free but you have to pay $140 or so fore the materials. That's cheap - and you will learn a few things there. They use that course to recruit employees - offer jobs to almost anyone who isn't brain dead.

Message from Trillium

The last large block of text, that came after my signature, was posted by Jake. He didn't "sign" his note with the four tildes, but you can always go to your "history" tab to see who left what message, and when. My prior message was last edited about a day ago, and Jake left his new one just minutes ago.

Trillium 01:59, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the Tips


Looks like we traded some messages last year concerning the EA exams. Congrats on passing and on having a successful tax season. Thanks for the tips about the office and the Christian Blue Pages. That is something that I will definitely look into since I am actually a Christian it fits me just fine. Have you looked into any of the Dan Ramsey stuff? I believe he has some type of designation where he goes and certifies you under his system. Looks like he has some good info, but I just wanted to focus on tax prep for my first few years and then maybe expand into something more later if I want to go in that direction.

What would you say was your best marketing device this year? I am always looking to add to my repertoire. In terms of the office space, I just really wanted to keep my expenses down so I did not rent an office. I don't take any home office deductions since I don't really have a dedicated separate workspace that I use only for tax prep. I actually was able to talk with my clients by phone and then I went to pick up their documents at their homes. The new clients that I did pick up outside of family and friends are right in my neighborhood as a result of a letter I put on everyone's mailboxes in my subdivision.

The more I think about it though the more I realize that I do need a separate office space outside of my home. If I could find an affordable space for next year with decent visibility and signage I think that alone would help to boost my business.

Starting a new discussion topic on the Business growth/practice mgt forum

You go that forum main page, and then click on the link for "Start a new Discussion Topic" which is to the left, about half-way down the screen. But what you did works fine, too.

Trillium 22:25, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Joint estimates split

They will get a notice. Get out in front of it and prepare the clients for the notice[s]. If it is a divorce situation try to get the signed letter spliting the payments before the notices come.

Your name-change request

I saw your note on Tim Doyle's user page. The process is - after you log out tonight, I can do the name change (or Tim or Kevin could, but I think tonight it'll be me), and will leave you a note on your talk page when it's completed. Any time after that, when you come back, log in with the NEW name and old password.

And from then on, be very careful to log in only with the new name. The system will, unfortunately, let you sign in with the old name but your preferences, history, and lots of other stuff will not work right on that original name, once the name change is complete.

There are a few things you should know before you finalize your name-change decision:

  1. All of your prior user history, preferences, and contributions will now be listed as though made under the new name.
  2. However, any posts made, or notes left, prior to the name change will still show the old name. Therefore, it will be very easy for anyone to track you from an old post to the new name. This is generally an advantage, but for those switching from real names to pseudonyms, it's a disadvantage - you need to determine whether it's good or bad for you.
  3. There is an alternative to doing the name change - just stop using this name and sign up with a new one, use that instead. This probably isn't the best solution for you, since you have so much user history and you probably don't want to lose that. I just thought you should know.

You can let me know on my talk page (or with another note on Tim's talk page, if you'd rather), whether you want to go ahead with the name change. If so, just let me know when you're logging out, and I'll do the name change then.

Trillium 01:16, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the note

I had forgotten to follow-up with you, glad you did that! I will do the name change later tonight. When you come back tomorrow, sign in with the new name and same password as now. Let me know if you have any other questions.


Trillium 04:19, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Your name change is complete

I believe I am a full day late in finalizing the name change and informing you of this - I hope that the delay didn't cause any inconvenience for you. Thanks for your patience, in any case.

Let me know if you have any issues/questions.


Trillium 07:10, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Your latest question is in the Chat forum

You actually seem to be asking for Practice Management advice, but you've posted in the Chat forum where people usually just read, post, and respond to blow off steam. Things can get offtopic there (although they don't always; the discussion you posted to turned out to be more practice-oriented than fun/escape-oriented, and it may well stay that way.

TaxAlmanac does have a Practice Management/Business Growth forum, and if you do choose to post your question there, please go back to the Chat discussion and remove it from that one. Having it in two places at the same time can end up being even worse than having started the question in the wrong place (see FAQ #27 for more on that).

Here's a link to the practice management forum: Practice Management/Business Growth Forum.

Trillium 15:49, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

End of the forum

You may have heard by now that the Tax Almanac ( ) web site forum is permanently closing its doors effective June 1. Perhaps you have seen the pink bombshell “Important Service Announcement” when logging in.

Long-time TA user ChrisV2 has volunteered to set up a new website where TA users may continue the discussion. The site is up and running now and has an active base of contributors.

We invite you to take a look and join your fellow TA refugees.

Frankly (TA member and new member of TaxProTalk)

Frankly 00:20, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

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