The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new online directory of tax return preparers just as the tax filing season has kicked into gear. The searchable directory allows users to find tax professionals with credentials and select qualifications.
At the time of filing this report, all tax preparers advertising on Mshale after February 1 are listed on the IRS database. Of the more than 140 million tax returns filed last year, more than half were prepared with the help of a paid return preparer, according to the IRS.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement that those appearing on the database have completed the requirements for the voluntary IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) and have valid 2015 Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN). Koskinen said taxpayers should make sure their tax preparer has a valid PTIN and includes it on the tax return.
However, tax return preparers with PTINs who are not attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents or AFSP participants are not included in the directory, nor are volunteer tax return preparers who offer free services.
Obamacare and your Taxes
New this year for those filing taxes are the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare that requires everyone to have health care coverage. The directory can be a resource for taxpayers who may want to get help from tax professionals on the Affordable Care Act tax provisions that affect returns filed this year.“Taxpayers can also look to these tax professionals for help if they have questions about the new health care provisions on this year’s tax forms,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The IRS searchable database which can be searched using the name, city, state and zip code of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents can be found here: http://irs.treasury.gov/rpo/rpo.jsf.
About Tom Gitaa Gitaa
Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.
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