When tax preparers apply for their required annual Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) with the IRS, it’s their own responsibility to declare credentials—such as a CPA license. This is done by the honor system, as the IRS does not presently verify such credentials.
Because of the risk that a registered tax preparer could falsely claim to have a CPA license, NASBA recently sent each Board of Accountancy a spreadsheet of the 2015 PTIN holders within its jurisdiction.
Each PTIN record—which was obtained by NASBA through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted to the IRS in January—incudes a name, business address, contact information and claimed credentials. (The state and license number for each declared CPA in the PTIN list is not subject to a FOIA request. Therefore, Board of Accountancy jurisdiction was determined by business address of the tax preparer.)
NASBA encourages Boards to cross-reference the credentials on its PTIN list with its database of CPA licensees to see if there are any tax preparers "holding out" as CPA to the IRS (and, potentially, clients) without proper licensure.
Any questions about PTIN information, or the search process, should be sent to Stacey Grooms at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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