IRS Releases Public Directory of Return Preparers
Tax professionals have varying levels of skills, education and expertise. Furthermore, only certain tax professionals have the right to represent taxpayers before the IRS in all matters including audits, collection, and appeals. Taxpayers should be aware of the credentials, qualifications and extent of service each prospective professional provides before obtaining their assistance.
The IRS has launched a public directory on IRS.gov for the 2015 Filing Season to help taxpayers determine return preparer qualifications. The searchable, sortable database contains: the name, city, state, and zip code of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, enrolled actuaries and Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) participants with valid preparer tax identification numbers (PTINs) for 2015. The listings do not serve as endorsement by the IRS. Tax return preparers with PTINs who are not attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents or AFSP participants are not included in the directory, nor are volunteer tax return preparers who offer free services.
For more information you can read the full Press Release or IRS Fact Sheet.
TAS has more information on choosing a return preparer and avoiding return preparer fraud.