Paid tax preparer’s obligations in the USA?

us tax preparer
  • by admin
  • December 22, 2023

Do you want to know what are the obligations of your accountant who is preparing and filing your income tax returns?


You do not need to be an expert or follow some IRS guidelines when you are filing your income tax return yourself. However, if you are filing taxes for others as a paid tax preparer, you have certain obligations to follow, failing which the IRS may disqualify you and restrict you from filing any tax returns on behalf of your clients. In certain circumstances, you may face some charges including convictions.

First thing first you need to register yourself as a paid tax preparer with IRS before you can prepare and file a tax return on behalf of your clients. You need to renew your registration every year and pass some screening tests implemented by the IRS.

In the United States, paid tax preparers have several obligations to their clients and to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Here are some of the key obligations of paid tax preparers in the US:


  1. Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN): Paid tax preparers are required to obtain a PTIN from the IRS before preparing any federal tax returns for compensation.
  2. Due diligence: Paid tax preparers must exercise due diligence in preparing tax returns. This includes verifying the accuracy of the information provided by clients, ensuring that all required forms and schedules are included, and checking for errors or omissions.
  3. Competence: Paid tax preparers must have the necessary knowledge and expertise to prepare accurate and complete tax returns. They must stay up-to-date with changes in tax laws and regulations and ensure that they are providing their clients with the most current and accurate information.
  4. Confidentiality: Paid tax preparers must maintain the confidentiality of their clients’ personal and financial information. They must take appropriate measures to protect this information from unauthorized access or disclosure.
  5. Filing requirements: Paid tax preparers must file tax returns on behalf of their clients in a timely and accurate manner. They must also keep copies of all tax returns and related documents for at least three years.
  6. Professional conduct: Paid tax preparers must adhere to ethical standards and conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner. They must not engage in fraudulent or deceptive practices or misrepresent their qualifications or experience.
  7. Compliance with laws and regulations: Paid tax preparers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including those related to anti-money laundering, privacy, and advertising.


In addition, paid tax preparers who prepare more than 10 federal tax returns in a calendar year are required to e-file those returns unless they have received a waiver from the IRS.


Failure to meet these obligations can result in penalties, fines, and even criminal charges. It’s important for paid tax preparers in the US to understand their responsibilities and take them seriously to avoid any negative consequences for themselves or their clients.


Disclaimer: Information in the blog/post/article has been presented for a broad and simple understanding. This is not legal advice. RKB Accounting & Tax Services does not accept any liability for its application in any real situations. You need to contact your accountant or us for further information.

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