Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Preparer Fingerprinting Delayed

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Preparer Fingerprinting Delayed

Article excerpt

The IRS will delay and reconsider its fingerprinting requirement for tax return preparers, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told the AICPA National Tax Conference in November.

"We have decided to hold of fingerprinting while we consider issues that have been raised and have further discussions with interested parties," Shulman said during his keynote address to the conference in Washington.

Shulman said the IRS would move forward with other aspects of its return preparer regulation plan, including competency testing and continuing education requirements for preparers who are not CPAs, attorneys or enrolled agents.

The IRS formally proposed the requirement in September in rules on fees for fingerprinting and the competency exam. (REG-116284-11). In hearings on the proposed regulations on Oct. 7, AICPA Tax Executive Committee Chair Patricia Thompson urged the IR5 to eliminate the fingerprinting requirement because of its cost and burden, saying it duplicated hiring background checks used by some CPA firms. She also reiterated the AICPA's position that CPAs should continue to be exempt from fingerprinting because of their regulation by state boards of accountancy The AICPA's concern with fingerprinting related to nonsigning staff working under the supervision of a CPA, and the Institute recommended an alternative background check involving consumer reporting agencies. Other preparer groups also objected, saying fingerprinting imposed an undue financial burden, especially since it would have to be done at a limited number of physical locations. …

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