The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all individuals who prepare a tax return to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). That is, unless the return you’re preparing is your own. In Arkansas, the IRS has 5,556 individuals registered as tax return preparers. Out of 5,556 individuals that are registered to prepare tax returns, only 1,721 of them are licensed. If they are licensed they are required to have some type of continuing education. For example, Arkansas requires CPAs to earn a minimum of 40 hours a year for education and most will end up with more. Based on the information provided by the IRS, only 32% of the preparers in Arkansas are licensed and required to update their education each year. 1,419 CPAs , 212 EAs -Enrolled Agents, & 90 Attorneys…..WOW!!!! Please don’t misunderstand, this does not mean that all of the other preparers are anything less than stellar. However, it makes it very difficult for a taxpayer to make an informed decision about the type of preparer they may be committing to work with.
When looking for someone to prepare your tax return or represent you in front of the IRS, licensing will and should matter. Is your preparer required to get education every year?? Is your preparer regulated by the IRS or a State Licensing board? If they’re not a CPA, EA, or Attorney….No!!!! Only CPAs, EAs, & Attorneys are allowed to represent taxpayers. Each state has a public board of accountancy to regulate the accountants that are licensed. Each state has a bar association for regulating and licensing attorneys. The IRS handles the licensing and testing for the enrolled agents.
We have 2 CPAs, 2 EAs, and 2 EAs on the way! In addition, both of our CPAs are also Certified Tax Resolution Specialists and one is a Certified Tax Coach focusing on saving small business owners taxes. I’d say we have you covered! The IRS doesn’t stop and neither do we!