[schema type=”person” name=”Eva Rosenberg” ]
Introduction

Hooked on Taxes

History of Accomplishments

Writing the Wrongs

‘Til Death Do Us Part

Evolution

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Eva Rosenberg, EA, MBA - TaxMama®

Early Years

From the age of 10, Eva always wanted to grow up to be an author. But, when it came time for college, she did the practical thing – studied accounting to ensure a steady living. This turned out to be a lot more interesting than expected. Though, when it came to tax classes, Eva felt those were a total waste of time.

Why? The instructors devoted all the precious time to teaching things that always changed – like the exemption amounts, standard deductions, and other things that were printed directly on each year’s forms. They never taught anything useful, like how to use the tax code to pay the least amount of taxes. Since tax law changes every year, this just seemed like too much trouble to learn. Tax was definitely not the field for Eva!

Somehow, during the course of studying for her MBA in International Business, Eva got sidetracked. She accepted a job in the tax department at a national CPA firm. It got merged into Ernst & Ernst. The job was just for a little while, then Eva would move on to her passion, International Marketing. That was over 30 years ago – and she’s still doing taxes!

Hooked on Taxes

Taxes became an intriguing challenge. Every client’s question or situation was another puzzle to be solved. Eva was hooked.

Of course, she thought her CPA firm’s fees were way too high for the simple tax returns she was preparing for a large percentage of their client base. (Though, some fees really were earned!) When she went out on her own, around 1980, Eva started offering $10 workshops on how to do your own tax return. Back then, most tax returns really were simple enough to prepare on your own, if you knew what to do. An odd thing happened. People coming to those workshops insisted on having her prepare their taxes for them.

That was the beginning of her crusade to remove the fear of taxes from the public consciousness. This brought people to her who were in desperate trouble with IRS. The ways they got into trouble are poignant, funny, pathetic, or well-deserved. One day, she will write the story of how to get into trouble with IRS.

After spending many years working with people in dire straits, Eva discovered the communication power of the Internet. TaxMama® was born. TaxMama® could get explanations and help out to many more people at one time. In 1999, the first issue of Ask TaxMama was published. The questions started pouring in. The rest is history.

History of Accomplishments

Along the way, Eva taught free workshops at the UC Irvine Womens Center, helping teach divorced women how to deal with their finances for the first time. She was a regular speaker at Senator Campbell’s annual Womens Conference in Orange County, California, helping women understand how to deal with small businesses taxes. In fact, in the 1980’s Eva was teaching classes all over the place! Besides teaching, Eva became program director and set up the speaker programs for AAUW in Irvine, and the Professional Womens Network in Santa Ana. There were some terrific programs – and Eva met exciting, accomplished professional women who inspired her.

One of her clients challenged her to bring her tax class to television. USC’s School of Engineering had an Interactive Instructional Television Network. It was an early version of their current Distance Education Network – http://viterbi.usc.edu/news/news/2010/ . Eva started teaching a lunchtime course to the engineers on How to Prepare Your Own Tax Return. It was well-enough received that the course ran for a few years. (It only ended when an auto accident took her out of commission for a while.)

Writing the Wrongs

Since there were no really useful books, Eva had to write one for the class. The Tax Anxiety Xperience – a T.A.X. Planning Guide was much more than regurgitated material from IRS publications, like most consumer tax books. It included forms, and specific instructions on how to use them properly and take advantage of tax deductions for employees and small businesses.

That book generated invitations to write or co-write other books and textbooks. Along the way, Eva was busy writing articles and columns for a variety of Southern California newspapers and publications. Upon discovering the Internet, Eva immediately picked up columns for two accounting websites, as well as Working Today and the National Association for the Self-Employed.

In 2003, while trying to pitch an article for a friend, Eva was awarded a six-article contract with MarketWatch.com That has turned into a wonderful, long-term gig, as a TaxWatch columnist. Talk about the ultimate achievement for a tax writer – a Dow Jones column! Wow. That is still hard to believe.

By this time, Eva had morphed into TaxMama®. Along the way, McGraw-Hill called and asked TaxMama® to write a small business book for them. The editor had done her research and decided that the body of work, and way tax laws were explained, were the best she had seen in the tax community. That became Small Business Taxes Made Easy, published in 2004. Despite being seriously outdated, that book has been on the Amazon.com tax and business law and tax law bestseller list ever since. The book is being updated for release in 2010.

‘Til Death Do Us Part

Meanwhile, in 2004 a local college called up and asked Eva to develop an online EA Exam Review course for them. After putting together a team of teachers, building a curriculum, and getting lots of potential students excited, the college decided not to invest the money on the course. So, here she is, all dressed up for the ball – and no place to go.

With about three weeks to go, Eva and her brilliant, dedicated, and dying webmistress, Serenata, had to find a way to cobble together a few tools to be able to deliver a live online class on short notice. At first, as someone said, teaching via text and no voice, was like watching paint dry. We added a teleconference line and the class came alive. It was a delightful success – giving Serenata great personal satisfaction just before she died. Yes, indeed, this magical woman held the cancer at bay until the class ended and the students took the EA Exam. Two weeks later, well…you know. Sigh…Many of those first students are still in close touch today.

Evolution

In the years since, the tools have become better, and so has the class. Each year, we find a better way to deliver the course and accommodate more students. Yet they still get personal attention and build Study Buddy relationships.

There’s always something new and exciting going on in TaxMama’s® world.

Come, join us. We’re having a ball!

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