Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Last week the IRS announced several decisions that affect we newly regulated tax return preparers.

First, it was announced that the PTIN process will operate on a calendar year basis. PTINs that were obtained or “refreshed” for the 2011 filing season will expire on December 31, 2011, and not 12 months after the date of issuance or “refreshment”.

The IRS will begin to accept PTIN renewals for calendar year 2012 in October.

I support the calendar year renewal procedure. I expect that the IRS will consider all qualifying CPE taken within the calendar year (January 1 thru December 31) when determining if the minimum 15 hour requirement has been met (with 2 hours wasted sitting through another repetitive ethics class), and not have to worry about different “fiscal” years for different preparers.

Second, as reported in NATP’s “Taxpro Weekly” email newsletter –

. . . the IRS announced that those with a provisional PTIN will be required to undergo a background check and be fingerprinted before December 31, 2013. The estimated amount for these services is between $60.00 and $90.00. Two firms, Prometric Inc. and Daon Trusted Identify Services, will provide fingerprinting and FBI background review services. Prometric also will be administering the competency exam so preparers can complete both tasks at once. Daon will designate 450 UPS Store locations nationwide as fingerprint collection points.”

I thought that the IRS had already did a “background check” of me when I “refreshed” my PTIN last fall. Do I need to be checked out again – or is this done each year upon renewal? And why do I need to be fingerprinted? This was one of my objections to the ERO filing process.

Hey, it was almost 40 years ago when I was in college, and it was an anti-war protest! Just kidding. I suppose I must succumb and just “grin and bear it”.

And finally, the IRS has wisely decided that taxpayers cannot elect on Form 8888 to have their tax return preparation fees automatically deducted from their refund check.

I want to be paid ASAP upon completion of the tax return! I want a check when the client picks up the return, or I want the first thing the client does after receiving his finished return package in the mail is to write and post my check. I do not want to wait “30 days net” to get paid, or wait three or four weeks for the IRS to process my payment. For the most part I am paid rather promptly the way it is – no need to involve the IRS in the process.

Actually, considering the huge number of returns I, and my mentor, prepared over the past 40 years, the small number of those who skipped without paying is truly minuscule.

I guess two out of three appropriate announcements from the IRS ain’t bad.


1 comment:

Tom said...

Everyone marching happily to a new slimlined, elite policing force in American government...