Last fall, we learned that the IRS was planning to make some in-person visits to tax return preparers as part of a larger process of spot-checking to make sure tax preparers are following through on their obligations to prepare accurate tax returns. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has performed a review of the reports on those visits, and has determined that the results of the in-person reviews were somewhat lackluster.
Those who were visited by the IRS reported a positive experience with the IRS representatives, but 70 percent of those visited indicated they didn't expect to make any changes in their preparation process, even though the IRS targeted those preparers because they typically prepare forms on which errors are likely to occur. TiGTA recommended that the IRS create a better plan for identifying tax preparers who actually do make errors on the tax forms and work with them to improve results. In theory, this sounds like an excellent plan. Without specific targeting of tax preparers who are having problems, the program might be shelved.