Often, taxpayers find it difficult to find an honest and competent tax preparer in their area. As a result, taxpayers can be at the mercy of unscrupulous individuals who claim to be professionals. In an effort to help connect Americans with legitimate tax professionals, the IRS has launched an online public directory of return preparers. The directory is available on this IRS webpage.
You can search this directory using:
- The name of the country
- The postal code
- Last name of the tax preparer, and
- Credentials of the tax preparer
You can instantly see the top 1,000 names of return preparers.
Only return preparers that have been recognized by the IRS, or who hold Annual Filing Season Program Records of Completion, are included in the directory.
Every return preparer listed in the directory has a valid 2015 Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). However, return preparers that have a PTIN, but are not attorneys, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), enrolled agents or participants of the Annual Filing Season Program, are not included in the directory. Also, tax preparers that offer free assistance or volunteer their services during filing season are not included.
In addition to offering a list of legitimate return preparers, the directory is designed to help taxpayers avoid making mistakes on their tax returns. Many taxpayers are enlisting professional assistance this tax season simply to comply with the Affordable Care Act requirements.
The IRS updates the directory every few weeks. The current information included there will remain accurate until April 2nd, 2015.