Expensive exams await advisors dealing with IRS

Link: IRS scrutinises Intel’s tax returns

The tax bill – the Tax Administration and Good Government Act – has cleared senate and may pass congress by the end of summer. It includes a clampdown on the oversight of the paid tax return preparers that deal with the IRS.

Darlene Hart, managing director of London-based US Tax & Financial Services, described the proposed measures as ‘one of the most important bits of potential legislation’.

If passed, only qualified certified public accountants, registered attorneys and enrolled agents will be allowed to prepare returns for the IRS.

To become an enrolled agent, tax experts must pass an annual examination costing between £517 and £1,292 at the European American Tax Institute.

Linda Garrard, tax attache for the IRS in London, said that she had heard ‘rumours’ that proposals for increased regulation for tax return preparers had gained more support. ‘It would probably need for every individual tax preparer that deals with the IRS to become an enrolled agent,’ she said.

A spokesperson from the US-based National Association of Tax Professionals said: ‘We are concerned that the tax practitioner community will be inadvertently punished through requirements that will be overly burdensome; an unfair structure for registration and regulation; unnecessary, costly registration, especially for small businesses and an intensified bureaucratic environment.’

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