The Internal Revenue Service announced that 12,281 tax preparers in Wisconsin have registered with the agency and received Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs), complying with new rules that give IRS more oversight of the tax preparation industry.
More than 700,000 tax preparers nationwide have registered with the IRS, and the IRS is still registering approximately 2,000 preparers a week.
“The IRS anticipates that this new program will create higher standards for the tax preparation community and will help ensure quality service for taxpayers,” said IRS spokesman Christopher Miller.
The PTIN registration is the first step in a multi-year effort by the IRS to provide standards for and oversight of the tax preparation industry. Starting this fall, certain paid preparers will be required to pass a new competency test. The IRS will also conduct background checks on certain paid preparers. Additionally, expected to start in 2012, certain paid preparers must have 15 hours of continuing education annually.
With the end of the tax filing season, the IRS also is initiating a review of tax returns that were prepared by a preparer who used an identifying number other than a PTIN, did not use any identifying number, or did not sign tax returns they prepared. The agency will send notices to those preparers who used improper identifying numbers. The IRS is also piloting methods to help identify returns that appear to be professionally prepared but are unsigned by the preparer.
The IRS also recently announced that it was able to identify 19 tax preparers who applied for PTINs and either failed to disclose a criminal tax conviction or have been permanently enjoined from preparing tax returns.
More information about paid tax return preparer requirements is available at www.IRS.gov/ptin.