June 26, 2014

We are disappointed to share with our members that earlier this afternoon, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen held a press conference in which the agency announced that the IRS will begin to roll out a voluntary filing season certification program.
NAEA has covered this issue at length in the last several E@lert issues and outlined our concerns with the program. Those concerns--many of you will recall--are largely centered on the agency's unwarranted haste, and on the fact that by eliminating a valid minimum competency test in lieu of a 100-question quiz, IRS has sacrificed program integrity on the altar of expediency.
While some may see the press release as an exercise in wishful thinking, for the moment we merely question the assertion that "the voluntary program will be a step to help protect taxpayers during the 2015 filing season."
The trouble, of course, is that the program does no such thing. If we believed that the program would help protect our nation's taxpayers, we would not have opposed it so strongly.
We will cover the program in more detail in the June 27 issue of E@lert, but we wanted to update our members on the latest news on the return preparer oversight issue.
National Association of Enrolled Agents

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