Under greater scrutiny, tax preparers get tough

ScrutinyA while back, we told you about a heightened code of conduct for tax preparers and stiff new penalties for those who fail to comply.

Now, we're starting to hear just how that code is impacting tax preparers and their clients.

According to this AccountingWeb article, the strict new regulations mean preparers are carefully scrutinizing the deductions their clients are claiming, and with good reason: The penalty for preparers who file a return with questionable deductions is now "$1,000 or 50 percent of their fees, whichever is greater," according to the article.

In fact, clients should start expecting that level of examination, writes Pamela Yip of the Dallas Morning News.

"Don't be surprised if a tax preparer asks you tougher questions and requires you to prove that you're entitled to your deductions,"  Yip tells taxpayers. "If a preparer doesn't ask you lots of questions the first time he's doing your return, 'then that's a red flag,' (Dallas CPA Society Chair Ken) Sibley said."

How has the new code of conduct impacted your tax season?


Bill Sheridan