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Chapter PIA Resources

PIA Chapter Chair Handbook

The 2017-2018 PIA Chapter Chair Handbook provides information to help Chapter PIA Chairs carry out the work of PIA at the Chapter level.


Marketing Toolkit

CSEA’s Board-adopted Marketing Toolkit offers strategies, tactics and messaging for marketing the Enrolled Agent designation. Please feel free to use the many great ideas presented in the Marketing Toolkit at your Chapters and in your CSEA Committees. Feel free to distribute this far and wide within CSEA.


Press Releases

Press releases are an opportunity to connect with important audiences, including reporters and media contacts. Download the Sample Press Release as a model, and customize it with your own content.  Follow the tips below when drafting your press release.

  • Make your press release readable and relevant.
  • Use bullets to break up longer sections of the text.
  • Provide local contact information.
  • Don’t add unnecessary content – if a reporter wants additional information, they will contact you.
  • Be sure to use your personal or your Chapter’s letterhead and use your Chapter’s logo, to add a local perspective to the story.
  • Refer to CSEA’s press kit (see below) for additional background information about the Society.
  • When your press release is finalized, use the media contact lists (see below) to identify local media contacts. For best results, you may also wish to call the media outlet before sending the press release to learn how they prefer to receive it – email attachment, or included in the body of the email, or fax.
  • Download “The Easy Way to Do Press Releases” by Inland Empire Member Gloria Williams, EA, MBA.

Press Kit

The CSEA 2017-2018 Press Kit includes information about CSEA, a fact sheet about Enrolled Agents and information about CSEA’s Disaster Preparation and Record Recovery program. The press kit is a great tool for promoting CSEA and the Enrolled Agent designation. Refer to the press kit for background information when reaching out to media contacts or when writing press releases, newsletters, client letters and speeches.


Media Contact Lists

Following are media contact lists for California daily publications, weekly publications, radio stations and television stations to use when distributing press releases to local media contacts. These lists are in Excel format so that they can be sorted by zip code for your Chapter’s geographical area.


Disaster Preparation and Record Recovery Program

CSEA’s Disaster Preparation and Record Recovery Program has provided an invaluable service over the years by counseling clients and the general public about disaster preparation and tax record recovery.

The Disaster Services Handbook has been created to assist local CSEA Chapters in the case of a disaster, and particularly to aid and advise volunteers during the initial stages of a disaster.

The Disaster Emergency Planning Brochure offers tips for disaster preparedness, as well as how to create a home inventory and evacuation box.


PIA Outreach Opportunities

AARP Tax-Aides
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is seeking Enrolled Agent volunteers. This program serves 2.6 million taxpayers annually at more than 5,000 sites nationwide. Volunteer and help people in your own community with a much-needed free service while also promoting the Enrolled Agent designation. Click here for more details, or contact Jana Perinchief at jperinchief@csea.org.

VITA Screeners
The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Because CSEA Members are very busy people, the best and easiest way to get involved with the VITA program is for Members to volunteer as Screeners.

  • Becoming a Screener DOES NOT REQUIRE A CERTIFICATION TEST – only training is required.
  • The Screener is the first point of contact with the taxpayer.
  • The Screener reviews the documents, prepares the intake sheet and determines if the return is out of scope.
  • The Screener can also give the taxpayer an EA Brochure.

If you or another Member of your Chapter is interested in volunteering as a VITA Screener, please contact the VITA Territory Manager for your area from the list below, or download the VITA Program Territories Map and Manager Contact Information.

Even if you don’t have time to volunteer as a VITA Screener, please consider contacting your VITA Program Manager and arranging to deliver EA Brochures to their location. The VITA Program Manager will make the brochures available to their clients on our behalf. By personally calling or sending an email, you will be making an invaluable positive impression about Enrolled Agents and CSEA. CSEA will provide EA Brochures for this purpose at no cost to you or your Chapter. Please contact Jana Perinchief at jperinchief@csea.org with any questions.

IRS Speakers Cadre
CSEA is partnering with IRS Senior Stakeholder Liaison Neki Cox to organize a “Speakers Cadre,” a list of Member EAs who would be available on short notice to present information on tax topics at events throughout the state on behalf of the IRS/BOE. Ms. Cox is seeking speakers who know are familiar with and can promote IRS electronic products, including e-filing. Volunteers must be technically proficient. Members who wish to be considered must provide the following materials in advance:

  • Speaker biography
  • Speaker photo
  • Contact information, including shipping address to receive IRS handout materials

The IRS will supply the content/script for speakers to present (PowerPoint), as well as pertinent booklets and flyers. The CSEA Member volunteer may provide CSEA brochures (supplied by the state office with advance notice) for the public on a “CSEA table.” It is permissible to hand out business cards before or after the presentation, although blatant advertising is not permitted.

Local Chapters are encouraged to inquire whether any Members are interested in volunteering. Interested Members should email Jana Perinchief at jperinchief@csea.org for additional details. More information, including upcoming speaking opportunities, ca be found at www.boe.ca.gov/sutax/sbf.htm.


Tax Help Day 2018 – Tools for Chapters

All CSEA Members and Chapters are encouraged to participate in Tax Help Day on Saturday, February 3, 2018, when Enrolled Agent volunteers meet with taxpayers and answer tax questions free of charge. Following is a list of materials and tools that will help your Chapter prepare for Tax Help Day. These documents are in Microsoft Word or Excel format so that they can be customized for your particular Chapter simply by changing the name and addresses currently specified in the document. Click on the links below to download the documents.

1. CSEA Tax Help Day Planning Calendar
A timeline for planning and implementing the event and post-event follow through.

2. Tax Help Day Announcement for Chapter Newsletters and Meetings
A sample ad requesting Member volunteers that local Chapters may use on their websites or newsletters.

3. Tax Help Day Location Request Sample Letter
A sample letter to an organization requesting use of their facilities.

4. Tax Help Day Sample Flyer or Flyer with Disclaimer
Customizable flyers that Chapters can send to media contacts along with their press release, or post in appropriate locations.

5. Tax Help Day Press Release for Chapters
A press release template that Chapters can customize and send to local media contacts.

6. Tax Help Day Fact Sheet
A brief list of Q&A about Tax Help Day Enrolled Agents and CSEA.

7. Tax Help Day Public Service Announcement (PSA)
A sample brief announcement suitable for sending to radio stations.

8. Tax Help Day Poster
A customizable poster which can be enlarged, suitable for posting in the vicinity of your Tax Help Day location.

9. Tax Help Day Direction Sign – Straight Ahead
A customizable direction sign with a directional arrow, suitable for posting in the vicinity of your Tax Help Day location.

10. Tax Help Day Direction Sign – Right-or-Left
A customizable direction sign with a directional arrow, suitable for posting in the vicinity of your Tax Help Day location.

11. Tax Help Day Intake Form
A form for Tax Help Day clients to enter their questions and contact information.

12. Tax Help Day EA Volunteer Notes
A form for volunteer EAs to record details of Tax Help Day client meetings.

13. Tax Help Day Site Information Worksheet
A form for Tax Help Day site administrators to record details of the location for the PIA Committee and the CSEA office.

14. Tax Help Day Client Information Worksheet
A form for Tax Help Day site administrators to record details of taxpayer clients for the PIA Committee and the CSEA office.


5 Tips to keeping your Chapter website updated and current

In today’s world websites are a very important tool to communicate information to Chapter Members, potential Members and education attendees. Not being able to update your website may also reflect badly on your Chapter’s image. Below are some tips to help keep your websites updated with current information.

  1. Have the Find an EA link or button somewhere visible on your website –  Note: You can link to CSEA’s new www.findanEA.org webpage so taxpayers can get all the information on why they should use an EA. Please feel free to use the wording from this website to populate a “Why use an EA” page on your website. We’ve already done the work for you and provided the content, so there’s no need to reinvent the message.
  2. Have the most current CSEA membership applicationNote: The easiest thing would be to link to the Join CSEA webpage since that will ensure the most current information is being used: http://www.csea.org/membership/join-csea/If that’s not possible, then be sure to use the membership information from the CSEA page to populate your membership page.
  3. Chapter leadership contact information should be postedNote: You need some sort of contact information posted for those visiting your website who may have questions on joining or events. You don’t want to make it hard for them to contact you.
  4. Keep Meetings, Education and Event information currentNote: One of the most important things is to take down ALL old events and education. If you only have seminars from previous years posted, a visitor will assume you haven’t updated your website since then, and may assume none of your information is accurate. You don’t want to discourage them from joining or attending your events based on your inaccurate information.
  5. Have information on How to Become an EA –  Note: We just updated the CSEA’s Become an EA webpage, http://www.csea.org/become-an-ea/, with current information from the IRS website as of April 2016. This is a great place to get information to populate your “How to Become an EA” page. You can also make it easy on yourself and just link to the CSEA page. Write something like…Click here to learn more about How to Become an EA.

If you have any website questions, feel free to email info@csea.org.