Blog Archives

Unfortunate Ruling as Appeals Court Upholds Decision to Overturn IRS Paid Preparer Regs

U.S. CapitolIn a disappointing but not wholly unexpected decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld the District Court’s ruling in Loving v. IRS that bars the IRS from fully implementing its paid preparer regulations. While this does not do away with requirements to obtain a PTIN for commercial tax preparers, it does continue to prevent testing and continuing education requirements from taking effect for the thousands of tax preparers who would have been regulated as Registered Tax Return Preparers. This also means it’s time to take the fight for a well-regulated tax preparation field down other avenues. Read the rest of this entry

NCTC Responds to TIGTA VITA Report

NCTC released the following news release this morning in response to the TIGTA VITA Report released this week. For more information, contact Amy Berkowitz, (312) 273.1910, aberkowitz@tax-coalition.org

Report finds increased accuracy rate for volunteer-prepared tax returnstaxes425x320

VITA programs continue to improve volunteer training

CHICAGO, IL – The accuracy rate for volunteer-prepared tax returns during the 2013 tax-filing season increased two percentage points from the previous year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The findings of TIGTA’s annual report reflect the commitment of volunteers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide quality tax-preparation services for low- and moderate-income taxpayers, according to the National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC). Read the rest of this entry

Schedule C Initiative to continue during the 2014 tax-filing season

Tax FormsNCTC recently received confirmation from IRS SPEC leadership that the 16 VITA programs currently participating in the Schedule C Initiative will once again be permitted to assist clients with Schedule C tax return filings during the 2014 filing season. This is a reversal of a previous decision earlier this year, and we wholeheartedly thank IRS SPEC and Wage and Investment leadership for their reconsideration and recognition of the importance of this initiative for our clients. Read the rest of this entry

Taxpayers & the sequester: What’s next?

If there’s any good news for taxpayers regarding across-the-board federal budget cuts that began to take effect March 1, it’s that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not expect the so-called “sequester” to delay tax refunds this spring.

However, folks seeking help by visiting taxpayer assistance centers or calling the IRS’ help lines could face delays. Read the rest of this entry

Appeal for common sense in paid-prep ruling

Tax Prep BewareOpponents of regulations for commercial tax preparers like to argue that they’re sticking-up for the proverbial little guy – the individual taxpayer, not to mention the small businessman or -woman. Establishing rules for paid preparers only creates burdens for small businesses, they say. And they add that those burdens carry costs that are, in turn, passed-along to customers.

But these arguments actually turn the truth on its head. Protecting individual taxpayers from unscrupulous or incompetent tax preparers demands some fundamental, common-sense standards. It’s not too much to ask that commercial preparers obtain basic training, pass competency exams, and seek continuing education to stay current on ever-changing tax laws. Yet these are exactly the rules that a U.S. District Court judge overturned last month in a ruling the IRS formally appealed last week. Read the rest of this entry

National EITC Awareness Day: Great Success!

eitc_badgecar2_The Community VITA field just wrapped-up yet another successful observance of EITC Awareness Day, which is used to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit and the valuable assistance it gives to hardworking, low- and moderate-income families. In 2011, this tax credit was responsible for keeping more than 6 million people – including about 3 million kids – out of poverty. And yet, the IRS estimates that each year, 1 in 5 eligible taxpayers fails to claim it.

NCTC hosted a Congressional briefing in Washington, DC on Jan. 24, co-sponsored by 19 other national policy and advocacy partner organizations, entitled “Together Strengthening Working Families: The Federal & State Earned Income Tax Credits.” The event drew more than 70 attendees, including many staff members from both the House and the Senate, and both Democrat and Republican offices. Read the rest of this entry