As published in the Winter Park/Maitland Observer, Thursday Jan. 3, 2012 Edition Offers... Read More »
Preparer Registration Update: Relief for Non-Signing Tax Preparers
Paul Bonner of The Journal of Accountancy reports that IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said the Service would probably provide relief from proposed testing and continuing education requirements for nonsigning tax preparers working under the supervision of a CPA or other federally authorized tax practitioners, such as an attorney or enrolled agent, in a CPA or other professional firm:
Shulman made the prediction in his keynote speech at the AICPA’s National Tax Conference in Washington, in which he also described other modifications to the new regulatory regime for all paid tax return preparers and its deployment timetable—some, like the nonsigning preparer relief, in response to the Institute’s concerns about the plan.
“I am very sympathetic to the argument that the rules should be flexible for people who have met a higher professional standard,” Shulman said. “Therefore it is highly likely that as we implement the new rules and procedures there will be some relief for testing and continuing education requirements” for nonsigning preparers supervised by a CPA, enrolled agent or attorney. Edward Karl, AICPA vice president–Taxation, said such a change would be welcome.
“I am very pleased with this development,” Karl said. “It recognizes that CPAs, and CPA firms, are already subject to a strong and long-standing regulatory regime.” Federally authorized tax practitioners, including CPAs, are already exempt from the testing and continuing education requirements.
This, of course, makes practical sense. The rules regulating both CPAs and attorneys require the proper supervision of staff personnel. Every month I read in the Florida Bar News about a lawyer who has been sanctioned for failing to supervise his employees.