Preparer Office Director Campbell Shares Important Communications for Tax Pros
During a recent
visit to Washington, D.C., NATP representatives met with Carol Campbell,
Director, IRS Return Preparer Office (RPO), to discuss the issues that members
have shared with us and to also get her perspective on topics like due
diligence, the importance of earning an EA designation, user fees and
information security. There are also some timely messages she requested that we
share with you prior to the upcoming tax season. They include:
your PTIN now.
your PTIN account to verify that no one else is filing tax returns under your
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) statute is permanent. Taxpayers who qualify for
EITC will not receive refunds before February 15, 2017. This is important to
communicate to your clients who may be affected.
you provide a copy of a tax return to your client, you are not required to
include your PTIN on that copy, only on the one you send to the IRS.
the new due diligence requirements. There is a $510 penalty for each failure to
comply with EITC due diligence requirements. (see IRC §6695(g) and a minimum penalty of $1,000 if you prepare
a client return and the IRS finds any part of the amount of taxes owed is due
to an unreasonable position (see IRC §6694(a)).
uncertain about the due diligence requirements, we have upcoming webinars
that will clear things up for you.
become enrolled agents has been a strategic focus at NATP this year with the
rollout of our new member benefit, free self-study of the EA Exam Review Part
I. Director Campbell explained that the IRS is encouraging professionals to
earn their EA designation as a way to demonstrate competency and
professionalism. She also explained that when you pass Part I of the EA exam,
you are exempt from taking the AFTR test for a two-year period. In an effort to
help learners succeed, the IRS has plans to make sample tests available in the
As you may recall,
NATP submitted commentary on the IRS proposed increase to the user fees [REG-134122-15] for each
part of the EA exam from $11 to $99. We requested price methodology for the fee
increase and made a plea that the IRS be cautious in its fee hikes as to not
deter people from obtaining this advanced designation. The IRS has since
reevaluated its proposed user fee and reduced it to $81 for each part of the
exam. Director Campbell said that the agency can no longer continue the
administration of this program without an increase in fees, something they had
been able to avoid, to this extent, in past years.
The visit also
included discussions on information security and the increased need for
preparers to be diligent about protecting their client’s data. Director
Campbell encourages tax professionals to register to receive IRS updates which include specific security-related
tips called Protect your clients, Protect
also expressed a desire to continue ongoing conversations with NATP and to work
through us to get your feedback on the issues that matter to you most.
NATP group included National Board President, Gerard Cannito; Executive
Director, Scott Artman; Director of Member Relations & Analytics, Jennifer
Van Elzen; and Government Relations Liaison, Larry Gray. If you have any
questions or comments for our Government Relations team, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.