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 To Assume Management Responsibility for EITC Platform in 2013

EITC PlatformNCTC and the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) are pleased to announce the transition of the EITC Platform from Aspen EOP to NCTC.

Available to the free tax preparation field since 2007, the EITC Platform was developed as a project of the Aspen Institute EOP with NCTC’s partnership, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and powered by CCA Global Partners. Its track record of providing top quality and much-needed resources to VITA programs has proven it an invaluable tool in the ongoing effort to strengthen our members’ service to lower-income families. Read the rest of this entry

Self Quality Review Is No Longer Allowed – Here’s How to Handle It

Tax Return ReviewSelf quality review is not allowed at VITA tax sites for the upcoming tax season and beyond.  This means each tax return must be reviewed by a quality reviewer independent of the tax preparer. Many tax sites will be affected by the policy, which will increase the burden  on VITA programs and strain their resources.

Those VITA programs affected must implement a method to complete an acceptable quality review when resources limit the ability to complete a “traditional” face‐to‐face review between the taxpayer and an independent quality reviewer.

NCTC has worked with our members and the IRS on Elimination of Self Quality Review Guidelines. These guidelines provide a list of “acceptable” alternative approaches, summarized below, that programs may employ in the upcoming tax season to complete an appropriate and acceptable quality review of a completed tax return. Read the rest of this entry

Q&A on Volunteer Training, Certification Changes

QuestionA new questions-and-answers document can help resolve some of the confusion that many VITA programs are understandably encountering regarding delays in volunteer -training materials and products for the 2013 tax-filing season.

The IRS SPEC office (Stakeholder Partnerships, Education, and Communications) announced the delays in mid-October, as programs were preparing for a new tax season and volunteer training and certification. SPEC also outlined several changes in the way various aspects of training and certification are typically handled. Read the rest of this entry

Back to School: Group Files Suit to Stop Continuing Education and Exam Requirements for Paid Preparers

Quality Control

Stronger regulations will mean higher quality tax returns

This week, a group called the Institute for Justice filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for new regulations being implemented regarding paid tax preparers.  The self-described “libertarian, civil liberties, public interest law firm” says the regulations are unfair to paid preparers. We disagree. Read the rest of this entry

Guest Post: Have You Taken the Pledge for Quality?

Marzahl Quality Pledge

CEP President David Marzahl takes the Quality Pledge

Recognizing the need for quality tax assistance, the National Community Tax Coalition’s Quality Assurance Working Group has provided suggestions on quality practices to both the IRS and the field for several years.

Quality is essential in the preparation of any return; however, for lower income individuals dependent on receiving a timely refund, proper preparation is critical. Any delay in receipt of a refund can have a significant effect on the taxpayer’s financial condition. Read the rest of this entry