Wednesday, May 4, 2011

IRS Announces Its Selection Of Vendors For Return Preparer Programs

IRS on April 27 announced it has chosen Prometric, Inc. to administer a new competency examination and fingerprinting program for certain paid tax return preparers. As described in the IRS statement, Prometric will be responsible for conducting a job analysis, with the assistance of subject matter experts from IRS and the preparer community, “to ascertain the capabilities and necessary knowledge for return preparers.” Upon the approval of a test plan, the agency “will make test specifications available to assist individuals in preparation for the examination.” IRS must approve all test questions. A second company, Daon Trusted Identity Services, was selected to provide fingerprinting services. The company will assist IRS “in evaluating the background and suitability of certain PTIN applicants, but the IRS will make all determinations regarding suitability issues,” the agency said. Testing and suitability checks are parts of the second phase of increased IRS oversight of federal tax return preparers. Mandatory registration and issuance of Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) was the first phase, which began last September. These program phases were originally described in the agency's Return Preparer Review that was unveiled in January 2010.

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