April 15 is only 2 months away, which means many employers and their employees should be thinking seriously about their taxes. But do you know how or WHO is going to prepare your tax returns for 2014?
With the names of so many tax return preparers clogging your internet searches, and no guarantee that one choice may be wiser than another, you may feel overwhelmed However, there’s no need to get stressed. This year, the IRS has announced a new, online public directory of tax preparers.
IRS Announces Easy, Accessible Tax Preparer Public Directory
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the launch of a new, online public directory of tax return preparers. This searchable directory on IRS.gov will help taxpayers find a tax professional with credentials and select qualifications to help them prepare their tax returns.
“This new directory will be a practical tool for the millions of Americans who rely on the services of a paid return preparer,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers can also look to these tax professionals for help if they have questions about the new health care provisions on this year’s tax forms.”
The directory is a searchable, sortable listing featuring: The name, city, state and zip code of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents and those who have completed the requirements for the voluntary IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). All preparers listed also have valid 2015 Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN).
Taxpayers may search the directory using the preferred credentials or qualifications they seek in a preparer, or by a preparer’s location, including professionals who practice abroad. Tax return preparers with PTINs who are not attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents or AFSP participants are not included in the directory, nor are volunteer tax return preparers who offer free services.
IRS.gov has additional resources to support your research about tax professionals:
- General IRS Guidance on Choosing a Tax Professional
- Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications : A searchable, sortable database of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, enrolled actuaries, and AFSP participants with valid PTINs for 2015.
- Verify the Status of an Enrolled Agent: You can get instructions to check if the tax preparer is an enrolled agent.
- Make a Complaint About a Tax Return Preparer
- IRS Tax Pro Association Partners
- Announcements of Disciplinary Sanctions: You may find instructions for researching whether someone has been disciplined by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.
At AWANE, our goal is to keep you up to date on all of the latest news that may affect your small businesses and your employees. We encourage you to continue to visit our blog for more on everything we do and share, and we also invite you to contact us with any questions or needs your business may have—including purchasing small business health insurance for 2015. We look forward to hearing from you!
Editor’s Note: Credit for this information is owed to the IRS.