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Please note the following tax due dates on your calendar, and come back often to keep up with the changes.
How is a CPA different from an Unlicensed Preparer?
The marketplace for tax services can be a confusing place. There are thousands of people who advertise as tax preparers.
There are some important distinctions between CPAs and unlicensed preparers that consumers should know. One is that the unlicensed preparer has limited practice rights. This means that they may only represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed. Additionally, they can only represent before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare, and also clients regarding appeals or collection issues, even if they did prepare and sign the return.
CPAs have unlimited representation rights, meaning they can represent their clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues, and appeals. One exception is a Tax Court preceding -- in that case, an attorney generally takes over.
Also, CPAs are regulated by a state board, which provides a venue for consumer grievances, and they must comply with strict ethical standards or face disciplinary action.
Lastly, CPAs are available year round for tax planning and other needs!!
Tracy Suggs, CPA, CGMA | 05/03/2018