Up until the 2009 tax year, literally anyone could prepare a federal tax return for someone else for a fee. All they had to do was hang out a shingle and start doing other people’s taxes. While some tax preparers chose to voluntarily hold themselves to a higher standard (such as becoming licensed with their state or enrolling to practice before the IRS), the vast majority did not have to meet any requirements in order to qualify to charge a fee to prepare taxes.
The IRS has decided that this state of affairs is detrimental to taxpayers and to tax revenues, and has launched an initiative to boost both protections and services for taxpayers, while increasing compliance with tax laws.
The first step of the 2010 IRS program to establish higher standards for tax preparers was to send out letters to 10,000 tax preparers who have demonstrated a large volume of errors, reminding them to be more careful. IRS agents will then visit the biggest offenders to make sure they understand their responsibilities.
While the new system is coming online, the IRS has also come out with a set of tips for taxpayers to use to ensure that they are working with a reputable tax preparer:
- Steer clear of preparers who make wild claims that they’ll get you a larger refund than anyone else
- Avoid preparers charge a percentage of the tax return as their fee
- The preparer must sign the tax return and provide a copy for your records
- Check the person’s background, credentials, and memberships in professional organizations; keep in mind that only attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS in audits, collection and appeals.
At The Pew Law Center, PLLC, we understand that if you do run into tax problems with the IRS, it can be overwhelming. Whether you owe back taxes, haven’t filed taxes for several years, or have received an audit or wage garnishment notice from the IRS, the attorneys at The Pew Law Center, PLLC can help you or your business with these and any other federal and state tax problems.
We are a dedicated debt relief law firm. We help people from Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Chandler, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, Tempe and throughout Arizona work through tough tax problems or file for bankruptcy every day. We can help stop the debt cycle and give you relief from your overwhelming, burdensome, and crushing tax problems. Please don’t wait another moment. Call us right away – our attorneys will help get you the fresh start you deserve.