The end of the year is almost here and tax preparers will soon begin tackling tax preparations for 2012.
Christopher Miller, a spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service, says tax preparers in Nebraska are being asked to take some time now to schedule a required competency test.
“The IRS wants to encourage tax professionals, the people who do tax returns for money essentially, to take a new required competency test now, before the new tax season begins and before the deadline hits. Or they may have a problem getting a slot to take the test,” Miller explains.
He says the IRS wants to ensure the people filling out the forms know what they are doing.
“The test is one phase of a multi-year effort by the I-R-S to increase oversight of the tax professional community,” Miller says. “And it also includes a preparer identification number, continuing education and adherence to ethical standards. So, this is an important move, because more than 60% of us use a tax preparer to do our taxes.”
The test isn’t required to be completed until the start of 2014, but Miller says they don’t want preparers to wait.
“January of 2014 may seem like a long way off, but remember the new tax season, starting with the new year, is just around the corner. And many tax pros will be working hard over the next several months, and before you know it, the deadline will be here,” Miller says. “And testing sites will be busy. So we want to urge tax pros to take the test right now to avoid the rush.”
Miller says there are still several hundred tax preparers in Nebraska who have to pass the competency test before the deadline.