IRS Launches Return Preparer Office, Names Tax Preparer Head

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IRS is launching a new Return Preparer Office as it continues its efforts to regulate those preparers and impose new requirements for registration, testing, and education, IRS Commissioner Shulman says at the fall Tax Division meeting of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Shulman says as IRS continues to write guidance on the initiative, flexibility is likely for those who work in professional firms, such as an accounting firm, who prepare all, or substantially all of a return under the supervision of an accountant, enrolled agent, or lawyer. The head of the new IRS Return Preparer Office says that the person whose judgment determines the majority of the outcome of a tax return is the preparer of that return whether they sign the return or not. David Williams, who leads the new effort, cut to the heart of the issue that has plagued him most since taking the helm of the preparer registration project: who needs to get a preparer tax identification number.

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