The IRS is already showing signs of caving in to special interests in its attempt to register all paid tax preparers.
IRS Commissioner, Doug Shulman, spoke to the fall meeting of AICPA and announced that “I am sympathetic to the argument that the rules should be flexible for people who have met a higher professional standard.” AICPA has previously complained that CPAs should have special treatment under the pending requirements that all paid return preparers be subject to 15 hours of tax education each year, and have a PTIN identifying number.
Employees who by computer simply transcribe information from a tax document into a tax program should not be subject to these new requirements. Anyone who reviews source tax data and makes decisions on how, where or if that information is relevant to the return, should be fully required to conform to these regulations. The fact that someone else, a CPA or other preparer, actually signs the return for the firm should not negate this requirement. This should also be applicable to preparers who are attorneys or Enrolled Agents.
Already, two of the major components of this registration for paid tax preparers have been challenged by special interest groups. The IRS has just announced that the 15 hour continuing education requirement for new Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRP) will been waived for 2011.
The IRS is overloaded to the point that a quasi implosion would not be a big surprise. IRS will be given massive oversight duties to monitor the Obama health care plan, set up the new RTRP process, approve third-party vendor providers of the continuing education for future years, and deal with the headaches and time restraints that Congress is creating by failing to resolve tax legislation until the last minute.
Tax Wisdom – Our tax system comes up short in a lot of areas. It doesn’t foster economic growth. It isn’t simple. And it certainly isn’t fair. The one place where it does excel is at redistributing income.
– Ari Fleischer