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News FLASH! IRS WILL Require Registration for all Paid Tax Return Preparers

2010-01-04 by

Note from Commissioner Shulman:

Today, we are recommending some important changes to our oversight of the tax return preparer community, including:
—Requiring registration for all paid tax return preparers.
—Establishing mandatory testing and continuing education for paid tax return preparers who do not already have this kind of requirement (i.e. exempting attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents).
—Developing a public database so that the public can ensure that their tax return preparer is registered with the IRS.
—Making all return preparers subject to the ethical standards of Treasury Circular 230 and subject to discipline by the IRS.
—Increasing our enforcement presence in the tax return preparer community.

The IRS has engaged the public and stakeholders since last summer in a wide-ranging review of issues involving tax preparation, and we have received more than 500 thoughtful recommendations from employees throughout the Service. With the findings and recommendations outlined in the Return Preparer Review final report, the IRS is taking a big step toward meeting our strategic plan goals of increasing taxpayer compliance and ensuring uniform and high ethical standards of conduct for tax return preparers.

Clearly, it’s going to take some time to put these important changes in place, and they do not affect the current filing season that starts today. However, we are taking immediate steps to help taxpayers during the 2010 filing season.

We want to make sure return preparers are doing the right thing and filing returns accurately. Starting today, the IRS is sending letters to approximately 10,000 paid preparers who have large volumes of specific types of tax returns where the IRS typically sees frequent errors. In the coming weeks, thousands of preparers will be visited by revenue agents.

Throughout the filing season, we’ll be working to provide taxpayers basic tips to help them select a reliable preparer.

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IRS Proposes New Registration, Testing and Continuing Education Requirements for Tax Return Preparers Not Already Subject to Oversight

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