There has always been give and take between you and the tax preparer when your return is being completed. Don’t be surprised if during your next visit, you are peppered with not only more questions but more detailed questions regarding the items to be entered on your return.
Is this a sign your preparer is simply chatty, experiencing boredom, or getting just a little too nosey? Actually, he is responding to the fact that the IRS has laid out new parameters for all enrolled preparers (Enrolled Agents (EA), CPA’s and tax attorneys), and these rules will apply to the newly regulated category of tax preparers, identified by the IRS as registered tax preparers.
Some rules are already known and many remain to be finalized. One of the outcomes of these changes will involve a subtle shift of responsibility onto the preparer regarding accuracy and completeness of information on the return. Although you are paying your preparer to be your advocate, the IRS has in place regulations that can levy fines and/or take away the preparer’s ability to practice his profession.
You, the client, should expect considerable scrutiny (questions) in situations involving the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and dependent deductions. The preparer is charged with the responsibility to determine the taxpayer’s eligibility for these credits and deductions. This should be accomplished by the preparer asking questions, more questions and lots more questions. Due diligence is the watchword, and the IRS expects this from all preparers all the time in every instance – overlook something, or fail to ask every follow-up question and you, the preparer, are opening yourself to IRS scrutiny.
S-o-o-o-o-o when your preparer seems to be questioning everything you say, please don’t take it personally – the IRS (not the devil) is making him do it.