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IRS launches directory of federal tax return preparers

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen

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. [1]

About Tom Gitaa [2]

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also 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 DishNetwork 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 such as the president of  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.

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