No, people who prepare tax returns and provide bookkeeping services do not need to be licensed CPA's in Texas.
Requirements for Tax Return Preparers
However, anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation is required to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
There is no fee associated with applying for a PTIN and it can be done online. When you apply you must provider personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, social security number, and information about your previous year's tax return to authenticate your identity. Felony convictions or discrepancies with your federal tax obligation may affect your ability to obtain a PTIN.
Requirements for Bookkeepers
While bookkeepers do not have to hold a CPA license, the Texas Public Accountancy Act limits the scope of activity that can be legally done by someone who is not licensed by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA).
Bookkeepers may prepare financial statements but are precluded from attaching any attest report to those financial statements or otherwise express an assurance about the reliability of financial statements.
If you hold a CPA license from the TSBPA, any bookkeeping services you provide are considered to be the practice of public accountancy and fall under the purview of the Board's regulations and the Public Accountancy Act.
Requirements for Certified Public Accountants
The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy has the responsibility and authority to regulate the practice of public accountancy in Texas. CPA's are required to comply with the Board’s Rules of Professional Conduct, the Texas Public Accountancy Act, and any other applicable statute.
When an individual or firm licensed by the TSBPA is found to have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct or statutory provisions related to the practice of public accountancy, the TSBPA has the authority to take disciplinary action. The Board may suspend or revoke a license, impose other sanctions, and can impose civil and criminal penalties.
Defending Your CPA License
If you are under investigation by the TSBPA for allegations of professional misconduct, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced professional license defense attorneys. We help professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your CPA license and reputation. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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