Teaching the Public What to Look for in a Federally Authorized Tax Professional

October 25, 2011 by  Filed under: Taxes 

People have many choices among professionals when selecting an income tax representative. Therefore, a part of tax preparer duties is conveying to the public what qualifications are necessary for high quality tax assistance with the IRS.

A Registered Tax Return Preparer has passed a competency exam and is eligible to communicate with the IRS about any return he or she prepared. However, taxpayers facing an IRS audit often engage tax authorities with different credentials. They must do so if their returns are self-prepared and they want to avoid representing themselves. A federally authorized tax professional may possess a designation of attorney, CPA, or enrolled agent.

Regardless of a tax professional’s exact certification, all capable tax return experts share certain characteristics. Teaching people to recognize these abilities allows them to avoid tax scams and hire a competent licensed taxpayer representative.

The most important trait in a good tax professional is knowledge of the tax laws. Passing the competency exam for an attorney, enrolled agent, CPA, or RTRP is a once-in-a-lifetime event. But each profession has continuing education tax work that maintains knowledge in specific areas.

Taxpayers don’t have to possess a high level of tax knowledge to identify professionals with significant expertise. The evaluation process simply requires inquiry about the level of training in particular tax subjects. The most suitable tax practitioner for any given taxpayer is one with completed online continuing education courses in the matters relevant to the taxpayer’s IRS examination. For example, some tax professionals focus on issues relating to the self-employed and others have taken extra tax CPE covering investments or rental properties.

A high quality federal tax specialist will easily spot mistakes in an IRS notice. For instance, this may comprise failure of the IRS to account for basis when determining a capital gain. Another characteristic of a good tax pro is ability to identify the major IRS concerns in a tax notice. Such cases might entail understanding how to substantiate business expense deductions with the IRS. A key ability for representing taxpayers is knowing what documentation to provide the IRS that supports or explains a position.

Effective negotiation skills are important for top tax professionals. They avoid divulging irrelevant information during an IRS examination. Instead, they select parts of the tax code that accurately apply to a particular situation. Experienced negotiators know how to get IRS agents to reverse incorrect assessments.

Whenever a taxpayer signs Form 2848 to assign a tax practitioner as representative, the IRS contacts that professional rather than the taxpayer. Therefore, finding the optimal quality tax representative is a critical decision.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.

Fast Forward Academy is a leading publisher of education for tax preparer duties and tax professionals. Access to free questions for the Registered Tax Return Preparer is available on their website.

Article Source:

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Prev Post:
Next Post: