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Frequently Asked Questions

Stauss Tax Services

We specialize in complex tax scenarios with expert tax planning, filing and representation tailored to your needs.

Q: have a complicated tax situation because of rental properties in several states, I own/am a partner in a business, have investment income, oil and mineral royalties, and am beneficiary to a trust. Can you help?

A: Stauss Tax Services specializes in complicated tax situations like these. We have extensive experience dealing with both business and individual tax issues, including business partnerships, investment or royalty income, tax planning, foreign tax situations and more.

I own a business. Do you work with business owners like me?

A: Yes! Many of our clients are business owners, whose business structure varies from sole-proprietorships, S-Corps, LLCs, partnerships, C-Corps and others. Our sweet spot is assisting business owners whose revenue is between $500,000 and $5 million per year, though we welcome the opportunity to help you in other situations, too.

Q: I want to start a business, sell or dissolve a business. What should I do?

A: Steve, his team and network have experience planning and setting up the accounting and tax structure of businesses and with other business documents. They also know the ins and outs of selling or shutting a business down, including final tax returns, distribution of assets and tracking the basis of investments in a business.

Q: I’ve recently inherited money, property or stocks/bonds, etc. What do I do?

A: We often assist individuals or families who have received financial assets as an inheritance. We can assist you in understanding the tax implications, and help you file estate and final tax returns if you are the executor or personal representative of the estate.

Q: I need to amend a previous year’s tax return. What should I do?

A: We frequently help individuals and businesses amend previous tax returns to fix mistakes or omissions, or even receive a refund.

Q: I haven’t filed my taxes in a few years. Still interested?

A: Absolutely. Just because you haven’t filed your returns in the past, doesn’t mean you can’t do it now. You might even get money back, though we can’t guarantee that. Know that when you have taxable income but don’t file a return IRS may prepare a “substitute for return,” a process that generally minimizes deductions and increases the tax you owe.

Q: I owe back taxes. What can I do?

A: If you are in the unfortunate position of owing back taxes (plus interest and penalties) we can be your advocate with the tax authorities. This means that your interactions with them will be minimized. You might even get a better deal (and save more hair) than if you contacted them directly.

Q: I want to sell a rental property and buy another one. Do you know about 1031 exchanges?

A: Yes. We can help you figure out your options for a 1031 exchange of rental properties to potentially defer capital gains taxes, and ensure you don’t find yourself in a sticky tax situation today.

Q: I got a phone call “from the IRS” saying that I owe taxes and must pay immediately or I’ll be arrested. Help!

A: This is a scam. The IRS doesn’t call taxpayers out of the blue to demand immediate payment. The IRS is required to follow notification procedures before levying or seizing assets. Hang up the phone!

Q: I just got a letter from the IRS or the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department. What do I do?

A: First, don’t panic. Not all notices mean trouble. That’s why we offer a sit-down consultation at any stage of your dealings with the IRS and state tax authorities. We’ll give you our expert, honest assessment of your situation.

Q: You’re an Enrolled Agent. What is that?

A: An Enrolled Agent is a federally licensed tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation. EAs are authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers for audits, collections, and appeals before the Internal Revenue Service. Only EAs, attorneys and CPAs may represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.

Q: So what’s the difference between an Enrolled Agent and an accountant, CPA or other tax professional?

A: Only EAs are required to demonstrate their competence in tax matters to the IRS before they can represent taxpayers before the IRS. Unlike an accountant, CPA or attorney who may not specialize in taxes, EAs do specialize in taxation. They advise, represent and prepare tax returns for any and all entities (individuals or businesses) with tax reporting requirements. And EAs are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the US government, whereas CPAs and attorneys are licensed by individual states.

Q: How does someone become an Enrolled Agent?

A: Enrolled Agents must pass a series of 3 timed exams. They must also pass a suitability check, which includes tax compliance to ensure that they have filed all their own necessary tax returns and that there are no outstanding tax liabilities. They also must pass a criminal background check.

Q: Is there a continuing education requirement for Enrolled Agents?

A: Generally, Enrolled Agents must obtain a minimum of 72 hours every three years. Additionally, they must also obtain a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education (including 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct) each year.

Q: What standards do Enrolled Agents uphold?

A: Enrolled Agents are required to abide by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Circular 230, the regulations governing the practice of EAs. National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) members are also bound by the NAEA Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct. NAEA members must also earn 30 hours of continuing education in taxation and ethics each year. Steve is a member of NAEA.

Q: How can I check that someone is an Enrolled Agent?

A: For information on Enrolled Agents and to find a local one, visit

Q: I’m still not sure what’s right for me and/or my business.

A: No problem! Call us today for a preliminary, no obligation consultation.

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