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IRS Reconsiders Fingerprinting Requirement

In recent months, there has been a lot of talk about the latest due diligence requirements proposed by the IRS – requirements designed to help regulate the tax preparation profession.  But just recently, one of the proposed requirements has been put on hold.

The IRS will not, at this time, require paid tax preparers to be fingerprinted.  Commissioner Doug Shulman made this announcement at a recent American Institute of CPAs’ National Tax Conference.  The AICPA is directly credited for this change as their recent request for the agency to reexamine its plans for fingerprinting raised reason for reconsideration.

In a recent article published by Accounting Today, Shulman was cited as having said, “We have received input on the recent background check and fingerprinting proposals.  While we all share the same goal of ensuring that there is adequate due diligence on people entering this field, the AICPA and others have made a number of important points that we need to think through regarding how best to do this. And so we’ve decided to hold off on fingerprinting as we consider the issues that have been raised, and have further discussions with interested parties.”

Shulman expects the registered tax preparer testing program will be underway soon and said there are no plans to extend the testing beyond the 1040.

In addition to their concerns about the fingerprinting requirement, the AICPA also raised questions about stipulations on advertising done by those who have not met due diligence requirements.  In response, the IRS now requires so-called registered tax preparers to add a disclaimer to their advertising so that it does not appear they have been endorsed by the IRS.  They are required to include a clear statement that the IRS does not endorse any particular individual tax preparer.

 

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