January 7 – 13 is celebrated as Tax Preparer Awareness Week (TPAW). In the complex landscape of taxation, the role of a tax professional is increasingly important. For TPAW, we’re highlighting the significance of tax professional certifications and exploring the emerging issue of identity theft. Tax professionals can also find resources to help them prepare for the 2024 filing season.
See more resources for tax professionals
Tax Professional Certifications
Are you gearing up to prepare and file federal tax returns this upcoming filing season? If so, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) wants to stress the importance of Tax Professional Certifications before the start of the 2024 filing season for 2023 tax returns.
Anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) before preparing returns. Thus, having a PTIN is crucial. A PTIN not only safeguards your professional standing, but also contributes to a secure and efficient filing season. Learn more about specific requirements for Enrolled Agents (EA), Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) , and Attorneys.
Tax professionals can also join the Annual Filing Season Program and be included in a public database of return preparers on the IRS website. Learn more about requirements and how to apply.
Remember: any paid tax return preparer is generally required to have a PTIN and is required to renew it annually. Refer to TAS’s Get help page on PTIN’s and the IRS’s PTIN Requirements for Tax Return Preparers for further guidance.
Identity (ID) Theft
It is crucial for tax professionals to familiarize themselves with the indicators, impacts and reporting protocols associated with tax-related identity theft. This familiarity is essential for personal and financial security, ensuring legal compliance, and preserving trust in professional relationships. Tax-related identity theft can result in financial losses, unauthorized transactions, and credit score damage. A comprehensive understanding of threat signs empowers tax professionals to adopt proactive measures in safeguarding financial well-being.
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Benefits that are affected when Tax ID Theft occurs.
Common signs of Tax ID Theft.
- Rejected federal tax return (yet tax return was never filed);
- Refund was never received;
- IRS correspondence that the tax return was not filed or there is incorrect information;
- IRS Correspondence: Letter 5071C or Letter 6331C;
- Failure to receive a credit to which your client is entitled;
- Incorrect refund; or
- Unsolicited amended tax return.
Where to report Tax-Related Identity Theft.
- Complete Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit
Protecting your client against Tax-Related Identity Theft.
- Get your clients signed up for an Identity Protection Pin ("IP PIN")
Refer to TAS's Tax Tip for more information.
Related Tax Identity Theft Links:
- TAS Get Help – ID Theft
- NTA Blog: Identity Protection PIN Can Protect You from Tax-Related Identity Theft
- TAS Tax Tips: Keep safe on social media at tax time – Don’t post or message tax info
- TAS Tax Tip: How to keep your personal and tax information safe
- Notice CP01A – We Assigned You an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number
TAS wishes all tax professionals the best of luck during the 2024 filing season. Make sure to visit the TAS website frequently, and follow us on social media for updated blogs, tax tips, and other helpful resources to make your filing season easier.