The IRS has begun steps to better regulate the tax return preparation industry. Presently, not all tax preparers are registered with the government. Many of those who prepare tax returns for a fee do so on a part time basis and are completely unknown to the government. They identify themselves using their Social Security numbers.
From January 1 next year, all tax preparers, whether they be companies or individuals, will have to register with the government. They will be given a Preparer Tax Identifcation Number (PTIN). Those who already have PTINs must renew their registrations before January 1, 2011. The PTIN will be recorded in every tax return form that is submitted to the IRS. Those who identify themselves using their Social Security numbers will no longer be allowed to do so. Instead they have to use their PTINs. Those who fail to do so will be fined.
Please see full article below for more information.
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