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The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment helps ensure that tax preparers are on top of their game through the Income Tax Seminars. Held each fall throughout the state, these two-day seminars keep tax professionals up-to-date on the latest changes to federal and state tax laws and are held in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service and the Kentucky Department of Revenue.

“This program provides information to help tax practitioners navigate IRS systems and processes and their day-to-day duties,” said Susan Gainous, senior stakeholder liaison for the IRS, who has taught the seminars for years. “We appreciate that UK allows us to work with them on these seminars to elevate important issues that tax practitioners need to hear about.”

The UK Department of Agricultural Economics started the program more than 50 years ago with a focus on farm taxes. That component is still strong, with 33 percent of agricultural operation returns in the state being prepared by those the program has educated. The program has also greatly expanded its scope and now attracts financial planners, IRS Enrolled Agents, and attorneys—many are a nontraditional clientele for the college.

“For most of our participants, the UK Income Tax Seminars are the only connection they have with the college,” said Steve Isaacs, program director. “We have participants who have never been to an extension office, or called a county agent, but they come to the tax schools every year, because they value the information they receive here.”

Isaacs, along with the college's Kathy Roe and Emily Brown, organizes the seminars that are offered in numerous locations around the state.

Bill Klump, a certified public accountant from Louisville, has been involved with the program for nearly three decades. His first eight years, he attended as a practitioner; since then, he has taught.

“I wanted to teach, because I felt like I could bring a different point of view to the seminars as a person whoworks in the field,” Klump said. “It is important for tax practitioners to learn from each other, because we need tax planning information and an opportunity to exchange ideas and tips to work more efficiently.”

The UK seminars are one of the only programs in the state to offer information on state tax code changes. Brian Stidham, resource analyst for the Kentucky Department of Revenue, has helped teach the section related to state tax laws for the past five years.

“I really enjoy it, because it gives us the opportunity to meet and interact with practitioners,” he said. “Plus, they get a contact with the state Department of Revenue to answer any future questions that might arise, as they work with their clients.”

UK offers sessions that run through the fall and winter. For more information, visit the program's website at https://ukincometax.ca.uky.edu/.

—Katie Pratt