NAEA Cites Concerns Over Preparer Certification
The National Association of Enrolled Agents has joined the AICPA in opposing the voluntary training and certification proposal put forward by the Internal Revenue Service.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen had promoted the idea of voluntary certification in order to tax preparation professionals to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. It would require professional preparers to have a valid PTIN, 15 hours of continuing education annually and consent to Circular 230, Subpart B.
But in a letter to Koskinen, the NAEA cited several concerns with the proposal.
“NAEA has supported efforts – legislative, administrative or both – to provide oversight to the widely unregulated tax preparer community,” NAEA president Lonnie Gary wrote in a letter to Koskinen. “Nonetheless, we are troubled by the proposal, which we believe raises significant policy questions as well as significant administrative issues, and believe the agency should retract it.”
Among the issues identified were:
- How participants would be designated;
- Fees to participants;
- How the IRS would discipline the program participants; and,
- How CE providers can cover all complex tax issues in three hours of class time.
NAEA instead favors a voluntary program similar to the former RTRP program, including a basic competency test.