Taking an income tax preparation course allows paid preparers and self-preparers to obtain a working knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code, ensuring that income tax returns are prepared as required by federal regulations. This reduces the possibility of an audit.
An income tax preparation course provides useful information for nearly anyone, whether a person intends to become a paid return preparer or simply prepare his own tax returns. The Internal Revenue Code constantly changes, so taking an income tax preparation course - as well as annual refresher courses - allows a return preparer to minimize the taxpayer's liabilities by claiming all available and applicable deductions and credits.
In fact, even those individuals who do not plan to prepare their own income tax returns should have a working knowledge of the Internal Revenue Code and how to properly review the returns prepared by a hired professional. While many taxpayers engage the services of a tax return preparer, the Internal Revenue Code requires that each taxpayer sign his own return attesting to the veracity of the claims made in it. As such, a taxpayer can be held personally liable for any gross omissions made in an income tax return by a hired preparer. Penalties for substantial understatements of income deemed to be fraudulent can equal as much as 75 percent of the underpayment due.