And Many More: IRS Marks Third Anniversary of Preparer Requirements
Perhaps a round of “Happy Birthday” is in order?
This month marks the third anniversary of the IRS’s initiative to ensure competency, accountability and ethics in paid tax preparers. To celebrate, the IRS is letting everyone know some of the progress that has been made in implementing the new regulations:
- Approximately 850,000 preparers have registered for their required Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN)
- More than 4,800 preparers have passed both the competency test and the tax compliance check in order to become credentialed Registered Tax Return Preparers
- A whole slew of published material is posted on www.IRS.gov to inform the public and assist preparers in complying with regulations
NCTC is certainly glad to see the headway the IRS has been making in putting these much-needed regulations into practice. As previously noted, it seems like each passing month brings more and more examples of what can happen when one unscrupulous tax preparer uses his or her knowledge of tax law to game the system and commit fraud.
These instances harm the integrity of proven policies that help low-income families such as refundable tax credits for working families. They create administrative burden for the IRS (and sometimes the Department of Justice) who must do what they can to “crack down.” And they harm individual taxpayers who may be held liable to repay all or part of any fraudulent refunds – fraud that they were completely unaware was being committed in their name.
These examples of fraud reinforce the need for preparer regulations, which emphasize quality and ethics, in addition to ensuring that taxpayers know what to look for in a preparer come tax season. Given the commitment of Congress and the Administration to reducing fraud and ensuring quality and compliance, these regulations are just common sense.
We can’t wait for the IRS paid preparer online database to be up and running!
By Jennifer Thall, Coordinator of Civic Engagement