News Updates



FYI

IRS is in the process of sending out letters to a random sampling of enrolled agents requesting verification of their continuing education credits for the past three years. They have not conducted CE audits since CE providers have been reporting to the IRS. They want to see if it is matching up.




Adam Roberts
Adam Roberts, our President Elect, receiving his diploma from the
NTPI National Tax Practice Institute.
Achieving NTPI Fellow status denotes the highest level of distinction in representation.


Minutes from the Oklahoma Practitioner Liaison Meeting held virtually on January 15, 2016



The 2016 OK PLM Power Point Presentation               The IRS PLM Resources 2016



Oklahoma City Social Security Administration - Relocation - Contact - Map


Minutes from the Oklahoma Practitioner Liaison Meeting held virtually on January 16, 2015



The Appeals Overview by AJAC               The Appeals Mediation Online Tools

The Oklahoma Tax Commission              The Practitioner Issues 2015

The IRS PLM Resources 2015


Photos from the 2012 Oklahoma Tax Practitioner Symposium




(for Tax Professionals only - phase 1, 2 & 3)

At a standstill with the IRS on an audit issue? Check out the FTS program.

There are only 24 hours in a day, so why not take less time resolving an audit issue?

Believe it or not, that is possible..!!

Fast Track Settlement is an alternative dispute resolution process designed to resolve a tax issue at the earliest point possible. It gives your client the opportunity to resolve the dispute sooner than it would take using traditional processes.

With FTS, all parties are involved and present, which makes it much easier to communicate and discuss issues. This also means there's no delay in decision making, and you know that day if an agreement can be made. For you, it means you can better serve your clients by resolving an issue as early as possible, not to mention, spare a few extra hours in your day.





DUE DILIGENCE FOR THE 2012 TAX SEASON


Due to increasing numbers of erroneous claims in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the IRS has increased enforcement of paid tax preparer due diligence. As paid tax preparers, we must meet four due diligence requirements when preparing Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC).

The four due diligence requirements are:


Requirement Description
1. Completion of Eligibility checklist Either complete Form 8867 or its equivalent.

Complete checklist based on information provided by
the taxpayer for the preparer.
2. Computation of the Credit Keep the EIC worksheet or an equivalent that demonstrates how the EIC was computed.
3. Knowledge Not know or have reason to know that any information used in determining the taxpayer's eligibility for, or the amount of, the EIC is incorrect, incomplete or inconsistent.

Not ignore the implications of information furnished or known.

Make reasonable inquiries as a reasonable and well-informed tax return preparer, knowledgeable in the law, would conclude the information furnished appears to be incorrect, inconsistent or incomplete.

Document in your records any additional inquiries made and your client's responses.
4. Record Retention Retain Form 8867 and EITC worksheet or the equivalent.

Maintain record of how and when the information used to complete these forms was obtained.

Verify the identity of the person furnishing the information.

Retain records for 3 years after the June 30th following the date the return or claim was presented for signature.


The first, second and fourth requirements are concerned with completing forms and keeping records. The third, which is the most challenging, requires you to: know the EITC tax laws thoroughly, evaluate your client's information, ask the right questions and document the questions you ask and your client's answers.

To meet the due diligence requirements you must:

    1. Prepare form 8867, the paid preparer Earned Income Tax Credit Checklist. You must ask and explain to your clients all the questions in Part I and all the questions that apply in Part II and III. You must personally answer the due diligence questions in Part IV.

    2. Complete the EITC worksheet, which is available in most tax preparation software programs.

    3. For the knowledge requirement, the paid preparer must not know or have reason to know that the information used to compute the EITC is incorrect. If there is any doubt, you must ask your client additional questions. As a knowledgeable tax return preparer, you should be able to conclude if the information given seems incorrect, inconsistent or incomplete.

    4. You must keep the 8867, the EITC worksheet and a record of how you got the information used to prepare the return for three years from June 30 following the date you presented the return to your client to sign. You can keep these records in either paper or electronic format. It is a good idea to keep a back-up of these records at an off-site, secure location.

As tax return preparers we are not obligated to audit the information we receive from our clients. However, most of the IRS due diligence penalties are given for failure to comply with the knowledge requirement. To comply with the knowledge requirement you need to apply a common sense standard to the information received from your client. Evaluate whether the information is complete, determine if the information is consistent, conduct a thorough, in-depth interview with each client and ask enough questions to reasonably know if the return is correct.

As an example, when dealing with schedule A, C and E, be sure the gross income is properly reported and verifiable. Expenses should be ordinary, necessary, and properly computed and paid or incurred during the tax year. If a client gives you $12,000 of income and no expenses, more questions are definitely warranted.

Many enrolled agents take offense at the increased due diligence monitoring. But it is not going away any time soon. Along with oversight of tax preparers, it is the new reality of being an enrolled agent, one of America's Tax Experts.






THE NEW FORM 2848
POWER OF ATTORNEY AND DECLARATION OF REPRESENTATIVE


By EVAN S. GOLAR, EA, CPA


We are all aware that new model automobiles start rolling off the production line annually each September and the manufacturers begin their extensive new ad campaigns to promote their products. Their ads tend to make you feel you're not riding in style unless you're riding in the newest model.

Well guess what fellow EAs? Just after Thanksgiving 2011, the Internal Revenue Service surprised us all by releasing a new version of Form 2848, circa October 2011.

Many critical changes have been made that Enrolled Agents should be aware of in order to not have rejected POA's when attempting to represent their clients before the Internal Revenue Service. They should be thought of in two distinct categories; changes to representative status and changes to form disclosure.

Changes to Representative Status

You need to keep in mind that the IRS will soon be granting Registered Tax Return Preparer licenses to those who qualify by passing an examination as well as obtaining a PTIN. The IRS has made provision for them in this new 2848 version. On P. 2, Part II, Declaration of Representative provides a new code; code "i" for Registered Tax Return Preparer, that briefly describes their status under section 10.4 of Circular 230 and highlights Notice 2011-6 for reference purposes. On page 2 of the 2848 instructions, there are three paragraphs of special rules for registered tax return preparers and unenrolled preparers.

There is also a new type of representative who is eligible to sign Form 2848. They are termed "student attorneys or student CPAs", granted code "k". In this case, the lead Attorney or CPA is also required to be listed as a representative. However, in the case of a POA by a student, the CAF record will be deleted 130 days after it is received whereas unless a POA is revoked earlier, CAF will generally delete POAs seven years after recording. Changes to Form Disclosure

The very first item to be noticed is that previously there was line space for joint return filers to enter their respective names and Social Security Numbers. That is now history. The new version provides for only one name and only one Social Security Number, so joint filers must now prepare and sign their own separate POA. Although IRS has not disclosed the specific reason for it, it may be due to divorce/separation issues where the ex-spouses misuse or abuse the identification of the other.

In the Representative disclosure area, a checkbox has been provided to check if notices and communications are to be sent to the Representative. Up to two representatives may receive correspondence. If no box is checked, IRS does not mail correspondence. Also in this area a PTIN is requested. If no PTIN is assigned yet, you are to enter "Applied For".

Line 3, Matters, has some material new features. Applicable matters now include Private Letter Rulings and Freedom of Information Act requests. If the tax form number or years/periods are not applicable, then you are to specifically describe the matter to which the POA pertains. Do not enter "Not Applicable".

Line 5, Acts Authorized, now has checkboxes to authorize a representative to perform acts not traditionally authorized by a 2848 form which include disclosure to third parties, signing a return, substitute or add representatives, or any other specific act the taxpayer wishes to authorize.

The IRS has not announced as of this writing, a specific date in which the prior 2848 version is no longer valid and the new version is required to be used. However, the IRS has created a page for Form 2848 and instructions at www.irs.gov/form2848 for posting future developments to the form.






IRS Announces Standards for Continuing Education
Providers and Accrediting Organizations


WASHINGTON-   The Internal Revenue Service today announced the standards to become an IRS-approved Continuing Education (CE) Provider and the requirements to become an IRS CE Accrediting organization. The guidance paves the way for the implementation of new CE requirements for certain tax return preparers starting next year. Individuals who are required to take the Registered Tax Return Preparer competency test before the end of 2013 must begin completing continuing education courses in 2012. The 15-hour annual requirement consists of 10 hours of federal tax law topics, three hours of tax law updates and two hours of ethics and/or professional conduct.

Preparers must obtain the courses from IRS-approved providers. To be an IRS-approved CE Provider, an organization must be one of the following:

  • An accredited educational institution,

  • Recognized for continuing education purposes by the licensing body of any state or U.S. territory, Approved by a qualifying organization as a provider of CE on subject matters designed for registered tax return preparers, enrolled agents, and enrolled retirement plan agents (such qualifying organizations will be known as accrediting organizations), or

  • Any other professional organization, society or business recognized by the IRS as a provider of CE on subject matters designed for registered tax return preparers, enrolled agents, and enrolled retirement plan agents. Any organization that wants to become an accrediting organization can immediately submit the required documentation outlined in section 4 of Revenue Procedure 2012-12 to the address provided in the revenue procedure. Once approved, any accrediting organizations will be publicized by the IRS and must renew their status as accrediting organization with the IRS every three years. New provider application process Organizations in all four categories must obtain an IRS CE provider number. Organizations are able to apply through a new on-line process beginning today. As part of the process, continuing education providers are required to pay an annual fee to the third-party vendor selected by the IRS to administer the CE provider application and renewal processes. The fee covers costs to maintain a public listing of all approved providers and to collect course completion information from providers, identifying to the IRS, by PTIN, those attendees who have completed a program. There is no additional IRS fee.

    To apply for a provider number and program number(s), organizations should visit: www.IRS.gov/taxpros/ce and click on the "Apply to become an IRS Approved CE Provider" link. Assistance for CE Provider questions is available Monday-Fri, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST by calling 855-296-3150 (toll-free) or 202-499-5606. The IRS will maintain full oversight of approving and reviewing providers. Additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions, is available at www.IRS.gov/ptin and www.IRS.gov/taxpros/ce.



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