The proposed regulations also ask for an additional fee that the IRS says is expected to be substantially lower than $50 to be charged by the third-party vendor chosen to operate the new online system. That fee amount is expected to be announced soon, as well as additional details about the launch of a new online application system, according to the tax agency. These fees could change in future years as program costs are reevaluated.
Agencies are directed by the Office of Management and Budget to charge user fees to recover the cost of services that convey special benefits beyond those available to the general public, such as the authority to prepare federal tax returns for compensation.
Tax professionals and others have until Aug. 23, 2010, to submit comments regarding the proposed regulations. The official publication date of these proposed regulations is July 23.
In January, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman announced the results of a comprehensive six-month study of the tax return preparer industry, which proposed new registration, testing, and continuing education of tax return preparers.
"With more than 80 percent of American households using a tax preparer or tax software to help them prepare and file their taxes, higher standards for the tax return preparer community will significantly enhance protections and service for taxpayers, increase confidence in the tax system and result in greater compliance with tax laws over the long term," according to the IRS.