The fee for getting or renewing preparer ID numbers is before a court again. A new lawsuit claims that IRS lacks the authority to impose the user fee and seeks refunds of amounts preparers paid. It also alleges that the fee is excessive because only 20% of the proceeds is used to pay the vendor to handle registration. The lawsuit faces an uphill battle. In 2012, an appeals court said the fee that IRS charged was valid. We’ll keep you updated on developments in this new case.
The Revenue Service falls short on handling grievances against preparers, according to Treasury inspectors. Taxpayers who are victims of preparer misconduct use Form 14157 to file a complaint with IRS, but the agency has done a poor job of following up on grievances. Inspectors found that almost half of the complaints filed in 2012 and 2013 hadn’t been reviewed or processed by IRS as of Sept. 2013. And for the forms that do get examined, the Service doesn’t have the personnel to contact the taxpayer to obtain any missing information that could be relevant to the alleged misconduct. IRS places the blame for this on its lack of resources.