Wednesday, July 16, 2014
LET'S GET THIS STRAIGHT
The purpose of a voluntary tax preparer credential is NOT to be able to more closely “regulate” tax preparers – as it appears is all the IRS really wants to do.
The IRS already maintains a database of “approved” tax return preparers via the PTIN requirement, and has in place a system of preparer penalties to “punish” naughty preparers.
The purpose of a voluntary tax preparer credential, whether administered by the IRS or an independent industry-based organization, is to identify to the taxpayer public tax preparers who have proven competence and currency in 1040 preparation via testing and mandatory annual CPE in federal taxation.
The purpose of the IRS-administered Enrolled Agent (EA) program is to qualify non-CPAs and non-attorneys to “practice” before all levels of the Internal Revenue Service. It has the side benefit of identifying competent and current 1040 preparers.