Many of you know that it is important to find a tax preparer that knows what they’re doing because in the end it affects you. This year was the start of a new program by the IRS called the Annual Filing Season Program. What this program aims to do is make sure that the people that are preparing tax returns for compensation are competent and know what they are doing. Recently the IRS has stated that 44,000 preparers completed the program for the first year. This is a good sign for people that are looking for help when it comes to preparing and filing their taxes.
The Annual Filing Season Program was started in the hopes that all tax return preparers will maintain a level of knowledge that will help their clients. In order to complete this program a person must complete a certain amount of continuing education. The total needed is 18 hours which consists of 6 hours of “refresher courses”, 10 hours on federal tax laws, and 2 hours of ethics. On top of these requirements those that participate in this program must agree to specific obligations set by the IRS which will make them accountable for their actions.
This program is completely voluntary but can negatively affect the preparer and the taxpayer if they choose to not participate. After December 31, 2015 those who do not participate in the Annual Filing Season Program will not be able to represent their clients before the IRS for tax returns and claims for refunds. This means that if your return is selected for additional review, your tax preparer may not be able to help you with the review. Attorneys, CPA, and Enrolled Agents will have full representation rights for clients but are usually expensive to keep. Those who are part of the Annual Filing Season Program will have limited representation rights, but will still be able to represent clients they have prepared a return for.
We at Cloud Accounting Professionals are proud to say that all our tax preparers have earned the Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion. This means that we have put time into keeping up with changing tax laws and made sure we can help our clients when needed. The IRS shows that as of the start of the 2015 filing season there were more than 666,000 tax return preparers with active PTINs. This means that only 6% of those tax return preparers volunteered to take and finished the program.
Many people do not make the commitment to sign the taxes they prepare and to stand by their work. We are proud of helping others to prepare and file their returns and will continue to show it. When you come to Cloud Accounting Professionals to help prepare your taxes, you can rest assured that you are in good hands.