First, I want to apologize for getting this out so close to the meeting date. I am sure I was not alone burning the midnight oil for the last few weeks of the filing season. Personally, I am very happy to have that behind me but does that mean we are on vacation until January? Despite what our clients might think I know most of us will still be busy until the next filing season begins in January or maybe February depending on how late Congress decides to act this year.
How do you fill your time between October 16th and the start of a brand new tax season? In my office we have payroll reports, bookkeeping clients to get current, year-end tax planning, the few audits that are nice enough not to hit our desks in March or April, and of course a time to attend seminars on all the hot topics out there.
Our chapter has a very full education buffet available in October and November before we go dark in December to allow time for holiday celebrations. This month we are excited to welcome Jean Nelsen, EA and Immediate Past President of CSEA as she teaches us the ABCs of RDPs. I got a sneak peek at the materials. The allocation worksheet is a great tool for all Married Filing Separate returns not just RDPs. If you ever prepare MFS or RDP returns, you will not want to miss this meeting!
In November, we have something for everyone. A panel of professionals will present Estate Planning and Elder care, Vicki Mulak, EA, CFP will be presenting Schedule C businesses and Entity Selection. When I first started learning about the amount of possible issues associated with Elder Care and Estate Planning in our monthly Lunch & Learn meetings, I was skeptical of our role in this process as the client’s tax advisor. The more I have learned the more I have realized that I need to know more. Even if you do not offer estate planning or prepare trust returns, you need to attend this class. Sometimes the most useful information is learning what you do not know and where you can go to get help. It is scary to think of how easily we can harm our clients by not understanding all of their options.
Of course, there really is no introduction needed for the always-amazing Vicki Mulak, EA, CFP. She will be visiting us from Southern California and we need to have a full house there to make her trip worthwhile! Vicki is an expert in all things business related and manages to make tax law fun. You will not want to miss any of these classes. With our mini seminars designed for around 30 people instead of 100 + like Supers, it is a wonderful opportunity to have more face time with one of the top speakers in the industry.
I highly encourage you to attend these educational offerings. It takes a tremendous amount of work to pick topics, negotiate with speakers, make all the arraignments, market the events and make sure everything goes smoothly at the actual event. We are seeing a common trend within our volunteer lead groups where chapters are cutting back on what they offer. We want to continue to stop offer you top-notch education at competitive prices but we need your participation. We are always open to suggestions and comments, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
To wrap this up I would like to remind everyone that we are entering the holiday season, a time to be thankful. While I believe we should be kind to others and thankful ALL year, the holiday season tends to bring it to our attention. I am thankful every single day that I’m blessed with an absolutely amazing family that still loves me and supports me despite all the long hours I work and the long hours I’ve committed to volunteering. I am thankful for all of my clients as the good ones make me smile and the bad teach me patience and how to set boundaries. I am also thankful to all of you for trusting me as your Chapter President. It is an incredible amount of work but it is very rewarding. As they say, “The magic happens outside of your comfort zone” and for me the past two years have proved that. I challenge all of you to step outside of your comfort zone, you might just surprise yourself!
Nichole Ralls, EA
Sacramento Valley Chapter President