This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

IRS Cracks Down on Tax Preparers

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The Internal Revenue Service kicked off the 2010 tax-filing season with a stern warning for professional tax preparers and a promise of new registration, testing and education requirements.

As part of a crackdown, undercover sting operations in which IRS agents, posing as customers, will hit the streets to weed out unscrupulous preparers.

According to IRS estimates, more than 80% of American households use a professional preparer or software program to file taxes. Due to a lack of registration and inconsistent reporting, the number of tax-return preparers is unknown, but the IRS estimates there are as many as 1.2 million individuals who prepare tax returns for a fee, including certified public accountants and lawyers, both of whom are exempt from the new regulations.

Each year, hundreds of criminal investigations are initiated against preparers by revenue agents and the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2009, 124 people were sentenced to an average jail time of 18 months.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman on Monday described current and future efforts as a "monumental shift in the way the IRS will oversee tax preparers."

Currently, anyone can prepare a federal tax return and charge a fee. While some preparers are licensed by their states, many don't have to meet government or professionally mandated competency requirements before preparing a federal tax return for a fee.

The IRS will require: registering and obtaining a tax-identification number; passing competency tests, except for attorneys and certified public accountants; and continuing education. The agency will be able to suspend or discipline tax preparers who engage in unethical or disreputable conduct.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
HRB $32.09 0.00%
WMT $75.86 0.00%
AAPL $132.54 0.00%
FB $80.54 0.00%
GOOG $540.11 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs