IRS Advises Tax Preparers to Take Tax Competency Test

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is advising Californians who are preparing to file tax returns to take the Registered Tax Return Preparer competency test.

The tax competency test is a benchmark of minimum competency required for tax preparation Oceanside and other county specialists to acquire their professional credentials. The test, being administered nationwide, is skills based containing 120 questions. The test is timed at two and a half hours. The person taking the test should be able to successfully prepare the tax returns without the aid of a software program.

Over 60 percent of taxpayers in the United States use a tax preparer for their tax returns. The purpose of the test is to make sure that these prepares have a minimum competency level to be paid to prepare tax return. New IRS rules require any professional tax return preparer to must register with the IRS and acquire a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).

The text had been available since November 2011, and the deadline to take it is December 31, 2013.  However, more than 310,000 tax preparer professionals nationwide still need to pass the test, which is why the IRS is advising California tax preparation Encinitas professionals to take the test immediately. In California, approximately 36,000 tax preparers still need to pass the test.

The IRS has stated that as the deadline approaches, registration for test will get more tricky as seats at the official testing centers will be filled up. Attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled agents, and certain supervised preparers, are exempt from the exam. In January 2014, the IRS will post list to the public identifying which tax preparers have the appropriate professional credentials. Only Registered Tax Return Preparers and those exempt from the test will be legally allowed to participate in tax return preparation.

For more information on California tax preparation, please visit DePauw Tax.