If You Are Audited – Who will Represent You?
Any tax professional with an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is authorized to prepare federal tax returns. However, tax professionals have differing levels of skills, education and expertise.
An important difference in the types of practitioners is “representation rights.” Here is guidance on each credential and qualification:
UNLIMITED REPRESENTATION RIGHTS: Enrolled agents, certified public accountants, and attorneys have unlimited representation rights before the IRS. Tax professionals with these credentials may represent their clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues, and appeals.
Enrolled Agents – Licensed by the IRS. Enrolled agents are subject to a suitability check and must pass a three-part Special Enrollment Examination, which is a comprehensive exam that requires them to demonstrate proficiency in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation, and representation. They must complete 72 hours of continuing education every 3 years. Learn more about the Enrolled Agent Program.
Certified Public Accountants – Licensed by state boards of accountancy, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Certified public accountants have passed the Uniform CPA Examination. They have completed a study in accounting at a college or university and also met experience and good character requirements established by their respective boards of accountancy. In addition, CPAs must comply with ethical requirements and complete specified levels of continuing education in order to maintain an active CPA license. CPAs may offer a range of services; some CPAs specialize in tax preparation and planning.
Attorneys – Licensed by state courts, the District of Columbia or their designees, such as the state bar. Generally, they have earned a degree in law and passed a bar exam. Attorneys generally have on-going continuing education and professional character standards. Attorneys may offer a range of services; some attorneys specialize in tax preparation and planning.
NO REPRESENTATION RIGHTS
PTIN Holders – Tax return preparers who have an active preparer tax identification number, but no professional credentials are authorized to prepare tax returns. Beginning January 1, 2016, this is the only authority they have. They have no authority to represent clients before the IRS.
Hersman & Associates – Your Local Trusted Tax Preparer
Certified Public Accountant
Office Open All Year for Assistance at Any Time
If you are AUDITIED – we will represent you! We WILL protect you!