Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tax Talk - Part 2

Good Tuesday evening to all…

This is later then what I planned on, but not feeling well today…

In Mondays post I gave some background to the possible people that could do tax preparation work. A few links to read and a brief sentence on what the IRS is looking to do.

So the IRS and I do believe others behind the scene, are pushing to have all us tax preparers licensed, certified, registered or give up our livelihood.

As I have stated a few times I have no problem with it – I welcome it, BUT if and when this comes about I want it to be across the board. I want ALL who do or are associated with preparing, examining, questioning, auditing, etc of individuals, businesses, estates, etc. tax returns should have eventually the same license or classification. Doesn't that just seem fair?

That includes CPAs, public accountants, bookkeepers, foreign country tax sweat shops, McHenry workers, tax store franchise owners, etc. Also EVERYONE that works for the IRS from Mr. tax cheat himself Timothy Geithner down to that lonely telephone tax answer person to be required to get licensed also. The reason I say this about IRS workers is because,

Let me stop here and interject a link from the IRS job application site:

Internal Revenue Agent

If you read under Qualifications & Evaluations section for the first Internal Revenue Agent GS 05/11 (GS-05 is the lowest position available) you will see NO, NADA, NOTHING about having to have tax knowledge to get this position. Everything listed under A,B,or C and D qualification list has to do with just accounting, no taxes. As you get higher on grade level you still will not find TAXES, you will find “analyze business operations and financial conditions”, “Experience in interpreting and applying professional accounting and auditing techniques and practices”, etc.

Now you will find a part up near the top called: MANDATORY TRAINING, under that it state that you will get 1 week of orientation, apprx. 3-7 weeks of classroom training and 10-16 weeks of on-the-job training. IT’s does not say what kind of training, one could only hope that it involves TAXES??????

So, now these accounting people are telling us lonely little, independent tax preparers, who probably have more tax schooling in our baby finger that we need licenses, tax certification. ROFLOL!

The IRS has a special tax helpline for tax preparers who are stuck for an answer on a tax question. If everyone is not on the same level playing field and same rule book, there would be no sense of me having to go to class, get tested and licensed, yearly up-dated testing, etc. to practice tax prep. Work, only to have to call IRS help line and try to get tax answers from an un-licensed, un-certified, un-tested IRS worker. No sense at all.

To make this short so I can go lay down, I want the license, I want the certification, I want the yearly mandatory classes (which I do now), I also want everyone else to too.

I try with the best of my ability to provide to my clients the best I can give them, that’s why I already go to tax classes, read journals, blogs, seminars, etc. If licensing becomes part of that I will do that also.

All I ask is, if your going to play the tax game, then make it equal and honest for all who do.

I don't expect anything to happen this year, except for some forums, bantering and suggestions,etc. Next year is when it probably will be all written down, layed out and implemented. So we will wait and see...

Thank you & lets be careful out there.


1 comment:

  1. TomK-

    On the tax preparer end I wholeheartedly agree with you. If we unenrolled preparers must be licensed and required to take mandatory annual CPE credits in taxation in order to continue to be able to prepare tax returns for a living, then everyone else who wants to prepare tax returns for a fee should be subject to the same requirements.

    If a lawyer or CPA wants to prepare 1040s then he/she should be subject to the same annual CPE requirements in taxation, and, if an initial proficiency test is required, they should be required to pass, unless they qualify for “grandfathering”.

    Obviously Enrolled Agents should be exempt, as they already have been tested in taxation and are required to obtain continuing education in taxation.

    Only the new “Licensed Tax Practitioner” or an Enrolled Agent (who would automatically be granted such status) should be permitted to prepare tax returns. Not LTPs and CPAs and lawyers. CPAs and lawyers would have to become LTPs!

    I would not expect that a LTP would be permitted to “practice” before the Internal Revenue Service, other than in the capacity that unenrolled preparers are currently so permitted. These rules would not change – and CPAs and attorneys would be continued to “practice” before the IRS without additional testing or CPE requirements.

    And I would expect that they may be two levels of LTP, one for 1040 preparers and another for “entity” preparers (706, 990, 1041, 1065, 1120) with separate individual requirements.

    As for the IRS end, I certainly agree that every IRS employee working in the Examination process should have the same requirements as a “Licensed Tax Practitioner”, as well as every employee answering tax questions via phone or email. I am not sure that those in Collection would need such a requirement, although it would be nice if everyone who worked at the IRS in any capacity had at least a basic knowledge of taxation and was required to keep relatively current.

    I also agree that it would be nice if the IRS Commissioner and the Secretary of the Treasury had to meet the same requirement of initial and continuing tax education.

    I suppose it would be too much to ask that the members of the appropriate Congressional committees that write tax law actually have knowledge of tax law. It has certainly been proven in the past that these guys don’t know their arse from a hole in the ground when it comes to federal taxes.

    And, yes, I doubt that any action will be taken on registration and licensure of tax preparers in 2009. I expect that there will be substantial tax legislation in 2010, and that this issue will be addressed at that time.

    Great post!