Why Would Any Enrolled Agent Support the RTRP Program?

Really, I want to know. Why would any Enrolled Agent support preparer regulation?

Why would any Enrolled Agent support the creation of the RTRP designation for the previously unlicensed?

The unlicensed outnumber EAs something like 7-1, and the creation of an IRS-blessed designation that would almost certainly get more publicity that the EA designation would be bad for EAs.

It baffles me that the National Association of Enrolled Agents is so in love with the RTRP program.

In their weekly newsletter to EAs last week, NAEA bizarrely referred to the unlicensed preparers who brought suit against the IRS over the RTRP program as people who want “the right to remain incompetent.”

NAEA also kissed the government’s butt by praising the “serious and vigorous” IRS attorneys who are appealing the court ruling that struck down the RTRP program. The flowery kissing-up continued as NAEA went on to opine that the government “delivered its A-game” in the appeal.

Blech. Not only did this trigger my gag reflex, but the whole tone of what NAEA said made me angry.

Couple this with the fact that NAEA President Frank Degen recently claimed that there is “overwhelming support” among EAs for preparer regulation, and I am fed up.

This Enrolled Agent does NOT support the RTRP regime, and I can’t figure out why NAEA — or any EA — would support it.

What is the up-side for EAs?

According to research from NAEA, nearly 90% of the population has not heard of the EA designation.

NAEA should be working on ways to reach to reach that 90% and let them know who EAs are and what we do … instead of spending time kissing the government’s butt and slamming unlicensed preparers in weekly newsletters to EAs.

And instead of calling unlicensed preparers “incompetent,” NAEA should be reaching out to the unlicensed and encouraging them to use their knowledge to become EAs.

And so I ask again: why would an EA support preparer regulation, as was proposed by the IRS with the RTRP program? What’s the upside for us?

I would like to know, in detail, what NAEA thinks the upside is and how EAs will benefit.

Because I’m sure not seeing it.