Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The IRS yesterday issued IR-2012-79:
The IRS today reminded the nation’s 730,000 federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) for 2013. Also, preparers who have a competency test requirement should take the time now to schedule an appointment for the exam.
Anyone who is a paid federal tax return preparer must register with the IRS and have a PTIN, as must all Enrolled Agents. Additionally, some return preparers have new continuing education and competency test requirements.
Also yesterday, Atlanta CPA Jay Starkment sent this letter objecting to the IRS's sale of confidential information:
I have just submitted my 2013 Form W12 (Rev. September 2012) application to renew my PTIN (on paper, of course).
The instructions contain a misleading and erroneous Privacy Act Notice which reads: Generally, the information you provide on this form is confidential pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 and tax returns and return information are confidential pursuant to Code section 6103.
Meanwhile, the IRS website on August 4, 2012, began selling Form W12 information – apparently all 850,000 PTIN holders – including email addresses, phone numbers, professional credentials, and websites on a CD for just $35. IRS even offers an option for ordering a “customized listing” at additional cost. ...
I get enough spam and robocalls without having IRS contribute to such disturbances. I will urge my fellow tax preparers that the only way to omit their email address and phone number is to apply on paper.