Tax Tip for writers: Your tax preparer should be registered with the IRS (or maybe not!)

January 31st, 2013 → 8:25 am @ // No Comments

The IRS is now requiring that everyone who prepares a tax return for a fee to register with the IRS.

No more just hanging out a shingle and calling yourself a tax preparer.

That’s good news because I’ve seen untrained tax preparers really mess up some tax returns.


Registered tax preparers must pass a competency test and meet continuing education requirements (12 hours a year).

Tax attorneys, certified public accountants, and enrolled agents are already registered with the IRS and have higher testing and continuing education requirements than registered tax preparers.

As a CPA, I take 40 hours of continuing education a year, have a required ethics requirement, must maintain a license in my state, and follow guidelines and laws for representing clients before the IRS.


LATE BREAKING NEWS: U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg issued an opinion on January 18, 2013  that would bar the IRS from regulating tax preparers .It took everyone-especially the IRS-by surprise. Read more here.

So now all the non-CPA/EA/Tax Attorney tax preparers are wondering what they should do!  For us CPAs, its business as usual. I have all my continuing education requirements, my license is up to date and I bought my tax software. I’m ready for tax season!

Carol Topp, CPA

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