Gannett reports on new federal rules for tax preparers. The first rule to take effect: paid preparers must register with the IRS.
It requires any paid preparer to obtain an identification number from the IRS and provide the agency with the preparer’s business address, professional certifications and the previous year’s personal tax returns.
It’s a move to reel in an industry the IRS and legitimate tax-preparing firms say has been a breeding ground for fraud.
“This will help to eliminate some of the fly-by-nights,” said Greg Storen, owner of Storen Financial Group in Brownsburg, Ind. “Before, you could hang a shingle out, know nothing about taxes and start doing returns. There was nothing to stop you.”
The IRS hopes the number, officially called the Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN, is the first step in holding the industry accountable.