State Board Report

November 2011

The Internal Revenue Service’s research staff is looking at those tax preparers who have been intentionally avoiding the new rules of the PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) program, Leann Ruf, IRS chief-communications director for the IRS Return Preparer Office, reported at the Annual Meeting. She called these “ghost preparers” who are ignoring the rules.

The PTIN program helps the IRS identify those preparers who may need educational assistance, or if they need something else, Ms. Ruf said.

Beginning in 2012, registered tax return preparers and registered tax return preparer candidates with PTINS will have to meet annual continuing professional education requirements of three hours of federal tax law updates, two hours of ethics and 10 hours of federal tax law, all obtained from approved providers. An approved provider can be an accredited educational institution, a provider recognized by a state’s licensing body, a provider recognized by an accrediting organization or recognized by a professional organization recognized by the IRS. The IRS wants to create a process so that, if an organization is providing courses, it can directly feed into the IRS the names of those who have taken the courses, Ms. Ruf said. More information about the PTIN program is available at IRS.gov/ptin.

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