US Tax Preparers are Disregarding New Rules

July 14, 2011 Taxation in USA

Tax Preparers Neglect PTIN RulesNearly one in every seven tax preparers operating in the US are not complying with the government’s new oversight program for tax professionals.

In a press statement released on June 12th the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that over 100 000 tax preparers were not complying with the US government’s Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) program, despite continuing to complete and file tax returns for their clients.

The PTIN program was launched in 2010, and requires all professional tax preparers across the US to register for a PTIN, and since the start of the initiative 712 000 tax professionals have been enrolled. As part of the program, all preparers who are not Certified Public Accountants, attorneys or Enrolled Agents, are required to undergo competency tests, to complete 15 hours of continuing education annually, and pass suitability checks. It is intended that the program will cut down the occurrence of tax preparers knowingly falsifying information on clients’ tax returns or making an illicit profit from their legally doubtful actions, as any omissions or incorrect information will be attributed to their PTIN record. In the information provided through the press release the IRS warned taxpayers not hire specialists who were unwilling to display their PTIN number on completed tax returns, as this could be a strong indicator of an unscrupulous service provider.

By the end of 2011 the IRS intends to contact all taxpayers whose tax returns were filed by a service provider who did not disclose their PTIN number. Taxpayers will be asked to submit contact details for the tax preparer they used, and will be offered means by which lodge an official complaint, if they wish.

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