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In the News: IRS Tax Preparer Exam, Same-Sex Filings

CPA Profession in the News Accounting Today reports that the AICPA wrote to the IRS offering to help develop the IRS exam for registered tax return preparers by leveraging the AICPA’ s experience with the Uniform CPA Exam. AICPA Tax Executive Committee Chair Patricia Thompson wrote “we believe the examination should address problems faced by tax return preparers that might arise in the preparation of basic Form 1040 returns, including coverage of basic self-employment income.” Thompson noted that the IRS exam should have questions related to ethical responsibilities of tax return preparers and be updated annually to reflect the most current tax laws and regulations.

Tammy Whitehouse writes in Compliance Week that the AICPA has published new guidance for auditors who are reporting on controls at service organizations that provide data to public company financial statements. The guide, titled Service Organizations: Applying SSAE No. 16, Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization Guide (SOC 1), steers auditors through an audit of a service organization under SSAE 16. The article notes that one key change under the new standard is the requirement for auditors to obtain a written assertion from the management of the service organization about the state of controls.

A recent Wall Street Journal article by Kelly Greene pointed out that married same-sex couples may face complications when it comes time to file their taxes. Because the federal government doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, even if a  state government does, couples must file separate state and federal taxes. Melissa Labant, technical manager on the AICPA tax team, offers specific steps same-sex couples living in community property states can take to ensure they follow the rules and avoid an audit. 

Have a great weekend!

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