Return Preparer Visitation Project’s Effectiveness Requires Further Assessment: TIGTA

Monday, July 16, 2012 Print Email

A report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA ) has clarified that an Internal Review Service project related to assessment of services offered by the preparers of tax return has been aptly implemented, however, it still needs to be seen whether it is effective or not.

The report was basically concerned about the Internal Revenue Service’s Return Preparer Visitation Project. It was prepared with an intention of reviewing the project and also evaluating and determining the efforts being put by IRS as far as conducting visits to tax preparers was concerned. The tax preparers were paid appropriately so that they could work in the direction of enhancing the quality as well as accuracy of the tax returns that had been filed.

As many as seventy per cent of the people who participated in the survey carried out by TIGTA denied changing the manner in which they were preparing tax returns, simply because the revenue agent had visited them. However, the tax preparers who had been paid took the visit by the revenue agent positively.

The reason why TIGTA’s took the decision to review the project was simply owing to the fact that the Internal Revenue Service had incorporated certain goals in its Strategic Plan for 2009-13 fiscal years. IRS’s goal was to establish strong partnership with practitioners of tax. In addition to this, IRS also aimed that the paid tax preparers as well as others followed the law and set standards.

The Managers of Return Preparer Visitation Project were asked to design a method, which the revenue agents could follow in order to visit the tax preparers. The analysis conducted by TIGTA revealed that Return Preparer Visitation Project had sent letters to over ten thousand tax preparers and also visited 2404 preparers and thereby fulfilled ninety six per cent of their 2010 financial year goal. On the other hand, in the year 2011, Return Preparer Visitation Project had given letters to more than ten thousand preparers and carried out 2498 visits, which was almost hundred percent of their goal. TIGTA had also found that the project never had any specific tracking procedure for evaluating whether it was effectiveness or not.  

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