Friday, December 17, 2004

Kate Grubb, Enrolled Agent

My lovely bride has passed the enrolled agent exam. Here's what that means.

Kate works as a tax preparer, and for the past few years have been the manager of a local H&R Block on the East Hill. For the past year (it seems like) she has been preparing for her enrolled agent exam, which is to tax preparers what the professional engineering exam is to engineers, or the bar is to lawyers.

Here's what it does - only three groups are officially allowed to argue cases directly with the IRS - CPAs, tax lawyers, and Enrolled Agents. Accountants know the numbers but are not as strong in the law. Lawyers know the law but are not as strong on the numbers. Enrolled agents are supposed to be good at both. Enrolled agents are a plus in the local offices, and are compensated a smidge more.

So for the past year (it seems like), Kate has been boning up for this big test - study groups, homework, the whole magilla. Lots of free time evapped over the summer as she lugged around this huge white-covered ring binders filled with tax law (including on our trip to Canada). The test itself was help over a two-day period. That was a couple months ago. The tests were graded, and then an appeals process set up (this is taxes, after all), for questions that might have been incorrect, then graded again.

Kate passed. She does not have the EA status yet, but this is the big hurdle. And I am very, very pleased on her behalf.