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Treating Trauma: Continuing Education Matters

Treating Trauma: Continuing Education Matters

When it comes to practicing psychotherapy and especially treating patients with pronounced trauma, continuing education can make all the difference in providing your patients with up-to-date care. Certainly anyone practicing therapy in the field has a great many tools at their disposal straight out of college. This toolbox will only grow with experience as you find out what works and what doesn’t, developing your own particular style of therapy and working to perfect it. But no one achieves perfection in a vacuum. By furthering the learning process beyond the initial classroom hours, any therapist can improve upon their practice. Working with traumatized patients can be difficult, and the field is constantly expanding; the clients are owed the best treatment that is available, and continuing education makes that possible.

While up-to-date technique is important, it is also worth noting that there are some things no instructor can teach. A counselor dealing with patients who have been through a traumatic event must be possessed of certain inherent qualities, such as a compassionate spirit and a warm bedside manner. These things can be discussed in a classroom, but there is only so much a person can fake before it becomes obvious to everyone involved, including the patient. Psychotherapy isn’t a job you can do while not caring.

A therapist working with such patients could be practicing from a variety of different places. Some, of course, keep a private practice, scheduling appointments for patients who come to them. Others work closely with clinics and hospitals, speaking with people who have been through a nightmare and simply need some way of coping with the grief. Others may work through the legal system as officers of the court, or for law firms. People going through trials and other legal processes are often dealing with a host of emotions and need to speak with a counselor. How your practice is defined will have a lot to do with the kind of information you need to seek.

As with any form of psychotherapy, the knowledge and skill that goes into this type of counseling is vast and the resources are growing on a daily basis. Any therapist who wants to provide the best for their patients must keep up with the research of trauma; continuing education is a vital part of this endeavor. Not only will it improve the practice, it is required in many states to remain licensed. Make sure you know your state’s requirements as you move through your career.

Therapists today have a great advantage over previous generations. The internet has made it possible to get your credits through a number of various avenues. Online classes and webinars make it convenient and easy to remain up to date on your credits. They are offered through many different sites, all of which have something to offer.…

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Why Is Nursing a Rewarding Career?

Why Is Nursing a Rewarding Career?

If a person is re-entering the workforce after some time away, searching for a change in profession, or simply hoping to begin a career as a certified nursing assistant, their goals are easy to achieve. There are many different avenues to continue education that are designed to meet the needs of students. Times are tough, especially for those who have obligations from family. There are various programs that can be finished faster than anyone realizes. Depending on a person’s education level and the way they choose to finish coursework, they can begin a new and exciting career path in no time. Getting started is easy and it entails assessing basic personal data and choosing the correct program. When a person has proper training and education, they can experience multiple benefits that are associated with a career as a certified nursing assistant.

While doctors conduct vital diagnostic work, nurse aides are responsible for patients and spend a lot of time with the carrying out duties and monitoring instructions that are essential to make sure that the patients receive proper care. Federal regulations for a certified nursing assistant began in 1987 to regulate essential requirements for training. To continue education, a person usually must complete a training program that includes 75 hours of work. Sixteen of these hours must be devoted to communication and interpersonal skills, safety and emergency procedures, and infection control.

Getting patients to be more independent and respecting their rights are necessary and most continuing education classes include training that is specifically designed to stop any possible barriers of language or communication that can form a wall between patient care. Most colleges that have these types of programs for nursing students have classes that are geared to learning workplace English and other classes to become a certified nursing assistant. In general, English classes for the workplace target the comprehension of language in terms of procedures and topics concerned with patient’s rights and monitoring correct vital readings like blood pressure. They also entail vocabulary and medical terms that all certified nursing assistants must understand. Content in these classes are designed to help students successfully prepare to complete the state’s certification process as well.

Continuing education programs for nurses are made for people who like to work closely with patients and many programs are easy to complete in a couple of months at various vocational schools or colleges. A person may be able to finish a part of the coursework over the internet. There are many kinds of online tools available to help find the right school. After entering a person’s level of education, if they want to study online or in person, and where they reside, they will uncover a large amount of suitable programs that are close to home.

In general, the nursing profession’s salary and rate for job growth of a certified nursing assistant will increase in the future. For this reason, finishing these types of educational programs will normally lead to more job opportunities, higher pay, better job security, and the chance to further advance. Finishing a continuing education program can be difficult if a person has a large amount of personal and professional obligations. However, the rewards for finishing a program will definitely be worth the time, energy, and money that is invested. After a short time of training and instruction, a person will be able to take advantage of the multiple benefits that come with the title of Certified Nursing Assistant.

Even though giving a high level of patient care may be rewarding, a nursing career will have other benefits. To begin, after a person is certified, they will be eligible to work in many different health care environments and areas which lend a large amount of flexibility concerning where a person lives and works. Also, a person will receive good financial compensation. Many nursing assistants like their flexible schedules as well. Both the medical community and patients are beginning to recognize the value and worth of nurses. Therefore, it is not a surprise that this profession is growing in both numbers and respect. Continuing education in the nursing field may be the very thing that a person needs to meet professional and personal goals.…

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New Guidelines for Paid Tax Return Preparers

New Guidelines for Paid Tax Return Preparers

At the same time each year, millions of taxpayers visit tax professionals to file their federal tax return. A tax preparer will customarily charge a fee for this type of service. However, after considerable input from the public, the Internal Revenue Service has created a set of regulations that all paid-preparers must begin to follow.


Currently, there are lax rules in place that govern paid income tax preparers. The lack of standards has created several issues for individuals seeking out a preparer. In many cases, a consumer will pay a regular person that does not have any formal education to process their income tax return. When an unqualified individual is permitted to prepare a tax return, a taxpayer could potentially submit erroneous information to the Internal Revenue Service. If there were any problems with the calculations of the return, the taxpayer would be held responsible. Consequently, hefty fines and penalties may apply.

New Guidelines

As of January 1, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service will require every paid-preparer to possess a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) that must be entered on every generated income tax return. The process of obtaining this number is two-fold:

Enroll Electronically – To start the process, each individual that would like to provide paid tax return preparation services will have to enroll.A� The annual fee for a PTIN is $64.25.A� The process must also be completed by individuals that already posses a PTIN.

Examination – In order to measure educational experience, the Internal Revenue Service will require each candidate for a PTIN number to complete a competency examination. For those individuals that already possess a PTIN number, they will have until December 31, 2013 to pass the exam in order to retain their number. New preparers will be able to secure a PTIN once they have passed the assessment beginning in the second half of 2011.

Continuing Education – To ensure that each holder of a PTIN remains up to date on the latest changes in tax laws, the Internal Revenue Service will require each PTIN holder to complete a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education every year beginning in 2012 or later.

These new guidelines allows the public to know that a specific individual or business tax preparer is duly authorized to furnish these tax services, as taxpayers will have the ability to ask the preparer for their PTIN prior to having the return completed.A� Ensuring that the public is given proper tax preparation services is a top priority for the Internal Revenue Service.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.…

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Energy Field Work and the Journey of the Massage Therapist

Energy Field Work and the Journey of the Massage Therapist

I taught a class once back in the early 90’s at a large massage school out West. The classroom was filled with 48 students, and nearly 33% of them were not interested in learning about Rolfing. I asked them why, they replied it wasn’t energy work like cranial sacral therapy or Reiki. I laughed at these newbies, because they had no idea how powerful Dr. Rolf’s energy field was purported to be, a fact that I emphasize in all my massage continuing education classes. There were rumors that when Dr. Rolf shook your hand, you felt it in your feet.

Now, I teach massage continuing education classes around the country, in aA�culture that has a type of societal shock when it comes to to the concept of biological energy. Mae Wan Ho one of the leading quantum physicists of our time, has demonstrated that the human organism is a liquid crystalline matrix. We understand as a planet what is meant by an energy crisis, but the forces of nature and all our new technologies are constantly bombarding us with this invisible energy.

Way back in the early 1900 Dr. Harold Saxton Burr, � who was E. K. Hunt Professor Emeritus, Anatomy at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Burr was a member of the faculty of medicine for over forty-three years. From 1916 to the late 1950’s, he published, either alone or with others, more than ninety-three scientific papers on the concept that all living things are molded and controlled by electrodynamic fields, which could be measured and mapped with standard voltmeters. Illness both mental and physical deviated from standard measurements of healthy subjects.

Why was his 20 years of research passed over by mainstream medicine? Well, look no further than the explosive growth of the budding Pharmaceutical industry that dominates to this day the concept of dealing with every type of illness known to our species.…

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Tax Credits Can Defray Higher Education Costs

Tax Credits Can Defray Higher Education Costs

With the costs of higher education spiraling upward each year, most parents are searching for strategies to minimize the impact of sending their children off to college. A trip to see the local banker has often been one of only a few options available to families, and this usually resulted in a second mortgage promissory note. However, in recent years, tax professionals have also become useful in these situations. As the IRS has implemented tax breaks aimed at helping working families fund, the tax preparer-whether a CPA or a registered enrolled agent-has become an increasingly important advisor on the topic of finding funds to defray the costs of higher education. By virtue of continuing education tax requirements mandated by the federal government, enrolled agents are some of the most informed professionals on the topic. Tax CPE courses across the country are devoted to educating tax professionals like enrolled agents on many of specific tax avenues available to parents with kids bound for college.

As enrolled agents, CPAs and other tax preparers gear up to work with this particular clientele, there are two federal tax credits that are available to help individuals offset the costs of higher education either for themselves or their dependents-the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

General Requirements

Below are a number of the more important considerations around qualifying for either credit:

– individuals must pay post secondary tuition and fees for themselves, spouses or dependents

– the credit may be claimed by the parent or the student, but not by both

– if the student was claimed as a dependent, the student cannot file for the credit

– only one of the credits in a single tax year can be claimed per

– parents paying college expenses for two or more students in the same year are eligible for the credits on a per-student, per-year basis

The American Opportunity Credit

Below are some key facts that tax professional should know about the American Opportunity Credit

– the credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student

– it is available for the first four years of college

– 40 % of the credit is refundable, meaning that a taxpayer could receive up to $1,000

– eligible students must be seeking a undergraduate degree and must be enrolled at least half time for one year

– qualified expenses include tuition and fees, books and equipment

– full credit is typically available when taxpayers make less than $80,000 or $160,000 for married couples filing a joint return

Lifetime Learning Credit

Here are several facts about the Lifetime Learning Credit that the IRS suggests tax professionals understand and communicate to clients:

– the credit can be up to $2,000 per eligible student

– is available through college and for courses to acquire or improve job skills

– the maximum credited is limited to the amount of tax paid on return

– no degree or other recognized education credential is required

– qualified expenses include tuition and fees, books and equipment

– the credit is available to taxpayers who make less than $60,000 or $120,000 for married couples filing a joint return

– given the growing popularity of education credits, EA CPE and tax continuing education courses are rapidly including these and other details into their course curriculum

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.…

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Self-Employed Need Apply: Tax Deductions That Pay Come Tax Time

Self-Employed Need Apply: Tax Deductions That Pay Come Tax Time

According to a recent survey by the Boston College Department of Economics, the number of self-employed individuals rose last year by nearly 7 %, and there is ever indication that this number will continue to rise. With this trend comes a golden opportunity for IRS enrolled agents, CPAs and other tax professionals to tap new clients. There are scores of tax benefits associated with being self-employed that are forgotten each year by taxpayers who belong to this category. There are also various other applicable tax considerations-known to most any enrolled agent or registered tax agent -that should be communicated to these individuals come tax time.

A review of any tax CPE course on the subject of the tax advantages and implications of being self-employed is likely to turn up the following tips and suggestions.

Home Office Deduction

One of the biggest income tax deductions for self-employed taxpayers is the home office.

Tips for qualifying for the home office tax deduction include:

Home office qualifies for the tax deduction if it is the principal place of business, and is used regularly and exclusively for business. To pass the ‘place of business’ test, the home office must be the main place you where the business is conducted, or a place where the self-employed person routinely meet with client, or it must be a separate structure not attached to the home.

Regular and exclusive use means that the individual must spend at least 10-12 hours per week conducting business in the home office, and that the room is not used for other purposes.

A good example of a home office that qualifies for the tax deduction is a spare bedroom that is used exclusively as the base of operation. A bad example, and likely one ineligible for this deduction, is use of a dining room as a home office.

Qualifying Home Office Expenses

Expenses that are eligible for inclusion in the deduction include mortgage interest, real estate taxes, utilities, insurance, repairs, security, and depreciation. Deducting the business use of these expenses on the home office deduction schedule reduces business income, which in turn reduces self employment tax. This results in much greater tax savings than if a self-employed individual were to deducte these expenses on the itemized deduction schedule.

Business Use Percentage

However, only the business use percentage of these expenses can be deducted.?This percentage is calculated by dividing the square?footage of the office space by the square footage of the home, or by?dividing the number of rooms used for business by the number of?rooms in the house. Direct expenses-like repairs made to the space used for the home office, or telephones installed solely for business use-can be?deducted in full.

Indirect expenses-like mortgage interest and real estate taxes-should be allocated between the home office deduction and itemized?deductions, allowing the greatest tax benefit.

Home office tax deduction is calculated on Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.

Home office deduction limitations

There are two main limitations.

Deduction limited to profit: A business must earn a profit in order to qualify for the home office tax deduction. If expenses are greater?than business profits, the self-employed person must carry the excess expenses forward?to future years.

Depreciation recapture: In addition to mortgage interest, real estate?taxes and utilities, a deduction for the?depreciation of the home can be taken on the home office tax deduction schedule.?However, if the home is later sold, the?tax on any depreciation deducted on the home office schedule must be paid. This?is considered depreciation recapture, and it is taxed at the same rate as capital gains.

Other Notable Self-Employed Tax Deductions

Below is a list of other tax deductions that may benefit individuals self-employed.

Retirement Contributions-Contributions to a Solo 401k or other qualified plan are deductible on line 28.

Self Employment Tax-Half of the self employment tax piad can be deducted on line 27.

Contract Labor-Payments to independent contractors hire to complete work can be deducted.

Computers-The cost of computers used exclusively for work can be depreciate over multiple years or deducted it all at once using section 179.

Internet Access-Both at home and WI-FI access at Starbucks.

Website Expenses-Fees paid to buy domains, hosting, and other fees associated with running a website.

Cell Phone-While primary phone line cannot be deducted, a cell phone used for business is an eligible deduction

Advertising-Advertising costs are deductible.

Filing Fees-Fees paid to the state to maintain business licenses are deductible expenses.

Postage and P.O. Box Fees-To qualify, a separate P.O. box must be set up

Office Supplies-The cost of paper, pens, etc qualify as office supplies, and are deductible.

Mileage-Self-employed individuals are able to deduct business mileage on personal care, but need to keep good records.

Business meals-Business meals are deductible at a rate of 50%.…

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IRS Kicks Off EITC Awareness Day

IRS Kicks Off EITC Awareness Day

Who said the IRS has no heart? On January 29th, the agency paired up with the organization, Community Partners, to host the Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day. The EITC is a tax credit for individuals who do not earn high incomes. Kicking off the festivities, Commissioner Douglas Shulman remarked, “As part of the economic recovery efforts, there have been important changes to expand EITC to benefit taxpayers. Today, more than ever, hard-working individuals and families can use a little extra help. EITC can make the lives of working people a little easier.” In a recent telephone interview, Director of the IRS’s Electronic Tax Administration and Refundable Credits Office David Williams, lauded the refundable credit as “one of the largest and most effective antipoverty programs” initiated by the government, pointing out that the IRS uses the EITC to disseminate benefits, not to expand the tax base.

Tax preparers who must meet continuing education tax requirements, such the CPA or enrolled agent, are more than familiar with the EITC, which has been around for 36 years. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act strengthened this credit in 2009. While most tax CPE courses required for EA certification have been updated to reflect the latest changes, the IRS is urging enrolled agents and other tax professionals to bone up on the following 9 facts about the EITC.

(1) EITC qualification rules should be reviewed yearly to determine a taxpayer’s eligibility, since taxpayers’ financial, marital or parental situations can change from year to year.

(2) The credit could be worth up to $5,666. EITC can reduce the federal tax owed, and also result in a refund. The amount of the EITC is based on earned income and the number of qualifying children at home. Last year the average credit was approximately $2,100.

(3) Individuals eligible for EITC must file a federal income tax return (even if they are not required to do so) and then specifically claim the credit. The must also include Schedule EIC, Earned Income Credit, when filing Form 1040 or, if filing Form 1040A, use the EIC worksheet.

(4) Individuals with the filing status “Married Filing Separately” do not qualify for EITC.

(5) The taxpayer, including the spouse – if filing a joint return – and any children listed on Schedule EIC must have a valid SSN issued by the Social Security Administration.

(6) An individual must have earned income to qualify. Earned income includes income either paid as a wage or accrued through self-employment, farming or disability.

(7) Married couples and single people without children may qualify, but must meet all age and residency requirements and dependency rules.

(8) Special rules exist for members of the Armed Forces in combat zones. Military members have the option of including their nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the EITC. In this event, the combat pay remains nontaxable.

(9) The IRS has made it easy for individuals to determine whether they qualify with a tool called EITC Assistant. This program, available on the IRS website, removes much of the guesswork from eligibility rules and will even help individuals estimate the amount of their EITC.

These and other facts about EITC are usually part of any standard EA CPE or Tax CPE curriculum. As enrolled agents and other professionals working on behalf of taxpayers search for ways to help people who continue struggle in today’s climate, the EITC is a viable tax strategy.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.…