"• Requiring all paid tax return preparers who must sign a federal tax return to register with the IRS and obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). These preparers will be subject to a limited tax compliance check to ensure they have filed federal personal, employment and business tax returns and that the tax due on those returns has been paid.
• Requiring competency tests for all paid tax return preparers except attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs) and enrolled agents who are active and in good standing with their respective licensing agencies.
• Requiring ongoing continuing professional education for all paid tax return preparers except attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents and others who are already subject to continuing education requirements.
• Extending the ethical rules found in Treasury Department Circular 230 — which currently only apply to attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents who practice before the IRS — to all paid preparers. This expansion would allow the IRS to suspend or otherwise discipline tax return preparers who engage in unethical or disreputable conduct."
If you followed my “coverage” of the issue in 2009 you know I am disappointed that –
(1) attorneys and CPAs who prepare 1040s are not required to take a competency test or to satisfy the mandatory continuing education in taxation requirements, and
(2) there is no mention of a “grandfathering” exemption from the required competency test for non-initialed preparers.
When I get a chance I will review in detail the entire report and provide my comments in a future post.