If you are asking, “What is the National Association of Tax Professionals,” then you must be a student approaching your tax certification or a professional in the field. There are several professional tax preparer organizations, of which the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) is one. Most civilians are unaware of the changes that occur every year in the tax code. Tax preparers are not allowed that luxury.
The Tax Environment
The U.S. tax code is a complicated series of documents that are updated each year with small and large adjustments that impact every taxpayer. Professional tax preparers must keep up with these changes to facilitate the preparation of accurate and functional tax returns. Small changes to codes such as federal tax credits for first-time home buyers or college student tax allowances can impact a families tax return positively or negatively. A small change in the deductibility of expenses, like mileage allowances and home office tax compensation, holds considerable influence over the bottom line of small home businesses. The professional tax preparer must be aware of these changes and adjust every tax return they touch to accommodate the new laws.
Does the IRS Approve Such Organizations?
There are multiple organizations to which tax preparers may join. According to the list presented by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the NATP is one of the highest-ranking organizations that partners with the IRS to get the information out to tax preparers about each year’s updates to the tax code. The IRS recognizes that the NATP is the largest non-profit organization with which they work. NATP has members in all 50 States and some that operate outside the U.S. boundaries with corporations and U.S. citizens living on foreign soil. The IRS credits NATP members with working on over 12 million tax customers each year and, according to the IRS site, recommend the services of NATP members as tax experts.
What Role Does the NATP Play?
Tax professionals do not know every nook and cranny of the tax code. Combining both State and Federal tax codes brings an incredible amount of texts, graphs, and codes to the individual tax preparer that is impossible to memorize for quick and accurate use. The best of the tax preparers are part of a network that maintains connections between its members so that when one tax expert is presented with a problem that another is an expert in, they can confer and get the information right. Members at NATP are interconnected that way, and a membership at the national level of the organization includes a membership at the State level so that those with questions about State tax codes can interact as well. Every membership includes an Ethics course and eight hours of business practice webinars. For those members who opt for a higher level program with NATP, there are available optional webinars with yearly updates. NATP also offers a research service for its members to delve into obscure, yet relevant, tax codes upon request by the member.
Tax time hits every U.S. citizen. The requirement to file taxes cannot be avoided. For those entering the tax preparation profession, or for those who are experienced tax preparers, the need to maintain and expand their knowledge base is critical for them and their clients. Asking the question, “What is the National Association of Tax Preparers?” is a significant way to start along a successful tax preparation career.
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