Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

The IRS Announced Plans to Regulate All Tax Return Preparers: CPAs Are Exempted from Education and Testing Requirement

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

The IRS Announced Plans to Regulate All Tax Return Preparers: CPAs Are Exempted from Education and Testing Requirement

Article excerpt

On Jan. 4, Shulman announced that the IRS would start phasing in for the 2011 filing season a process to regulate all paid tax return preparers. The proposal that will be implemented through IRS regulations will mandate that all paid tax return preparers both register with the IRS and obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) to be used in signing all tax returns. As a part of this plan, the IRS also will subject paid tax return preparers to an annual CPE requirement as well as an entry competency test.

The proposal generally exempts CPAs from both the testing and CPE requirements as they have already passed a licensing examination and are subject to continuing professional education requirements.

Finally the IRS plans to require that all preparers be subject to the ethics requirements under Circular 230.

We believe having one unique identification number (PTIN) for each tax return preparer and making all preparers subject to the ethical standards of Circular 230 would prove a very positive, resource-efficient program. Under such a program, the IRS would be able to quickly track and identify the incompetent or unscrupulous preparers who are bent on harming the tax administration system. …

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