IRS Updates NATP on Important PTIN Concerns
The IRS addresses tax preparer registration, tax preparer requirements, and PTIN concerns: Preparing Returns After 1/1/11, Paper Inventory, Phone Demand, Transition Notice 2011-6, and Online Authentication.
Preparing Returns After 1/1/11
Guidance is in development for individuals who have made a good faith effort to obtain a PTIN but have been unsuccessful. This does not mean we plan to delay the PTIN requirement this filing season, but instead means that people who have had problems getting their PTIN can continue preparing returns during the short interim periods until they are successful. Stay tuned.
The paper inventory is being worked as quickly as possible. There are some applications (about 3,000) that are past the six week response time. These have failed authentication and special analysis is ongoing with them. There are approximately 16,000 other applications that are not past the six week response time and these are being worked first in/first out.
The CSRs at the call site are also the individuals who work the paper inventory and currently an emphasis is being placed on the paper inventory vs. staffing the phones.
While the majority of paper is being worked within the 6 week response time, people who have paper applications filed over 6 weeks ago do not need to call. The staff cannot confirm receipt of the application nor where it is in the process. The preparer can continue to try to register online.
The wait time on the help line is quite high currently because the staff is working to clear the paper inventory. We apologize for the inconvenience while we balance these workloads but expect it to be a short term issue.
Transition Notice 2011-6
The "supervised preparers" exception in the Notice is generating substantial discussion. Please note that the person must be an employee of a specified firm and directly supervised as described. The capability for a preparer to specify themselves as a supervised preparer and provide the PTIN of their supervisor will be added to the PTIN system later this year:
2. Who are considered supervised preparers? (posted 1/4/11)
In general, supervised preparers are those who do not sign returns but are employed by attorney or CPA firms or other recognized firms at least 80 percent owned by attorneys, CPAs, or enrolled agents, and who are directly supervised by an attorney, CPA or enrolled agent.
These individuals must still obtain a PTIN and certify on the application they are supervised and provide the supervising individual’s PTIN.
Additional guidance on supervised preparers is available in Notice 2011-6 .
Unfortunately numerous applicants continue to receive authentication errors. Our research indicates most of these are due to typographical errors by the preparer. For example, 7 percent of preparers entered an invalid SSN and 3 percent entered incorrect dates of birth. Please be very careful in entering information and to read the online instructions carefully. Regarding names, one tip we recently added to the FAQs:
If the name of the first spouse contains a suffix (Jr., Sr. etc.), the IRS system likely identifies it as part of both spouse’s last name. If authentication fails, try entering the last name with the suffix, i.e. Jane Doe Jr. The IRS intends to correct this issue in the future.
Members of the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) work at offices that assist over 11 million taxpayers with tax preparation and planning. The average NATP member has been in the tax business for over 20 years and holds a tax/financial designation and/or a college degree. NATP has more than 20,000 members nationwide. Members include individual tax preparers, enrolled agents, certified public accountants, accountants, attorneys, and financial planners. As a nonprofit professional association, NATP serves professionals working in all areas of tax practice through professional tax education, tax research, and tax office supplies. The national headquarters, located in Appleton, WI, employs over 45 staff members. Learn more at www.natptax.com.
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Members of NATP work at offices that assist over 11 million tax payers with preparation and planning. NATP has more than 20,000 members. Members include tax preparers, enrolled agents, certified public accountants, attorneys, and financial planners.