New Requirements for Some Return Preparers
As tax preparation season begins, make sure your return preparer is compliant with new IRS requirements. If you are using a CPA, attorney, enrolled agent, or any employee supervised by one of the above, your preparer has met the IRS requirements, so long as they are in good standing with their licensing agency and have renewed their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). If you are instead using a non-licensed preparer, they have until the end of 2013 to take and pass a Registered Tax Return Preparer competency test. See the IRS website for more information about the new requirements and the test. One key difference between the licensed preparers (CPAs, attorneys, and EAs) and the non-licensed preparers is noticeable only after your return is filed: licensed preparers have unlimited practice rights before the IRS, while non-licensed preparers can represent clients only in certain circumstances.