TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Testimony at IRS Forum on Tax Return Preparers

Here are the statements from yesterday's IRS Public Forum on Tax Return Preparer Review:

Press coverage:

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Why is the governmental agencies the only entities allowed to talk before this board about tax preparers?
They have the audacity to isolate CPA's but never a mention of the store front preparers. The acting from New York wants all prepares to be registered by the IRS which then denies the recognition of tax attornies, CPA's and EA's who have dedicated their careers to being servants of the local, state and federal tax systems. Electronic filing has the effect of forcing input onto the preparer and releaved the taxing authorities of the input responsibilty for which is has apparopriated taxpayer funds.
I did not see any comments which recognize the taxing authority understaffing, under training and harassing attitude of the revenue agents, nor the explosion of tax notices for unfounded and inappropriate attempts to match returns to data submitted. CPA's and tax attornies have a college education plus must pass very difficult examinations administered by recognized boards. What do the majority of in particular IRS agents and staff have? At a minimum, a college degree in tax, accounting, finance or statistics? Not from my experience.
The agencies who made presentations in this forum have created a taxpayer nightmare by getting their local, state and federal legilative bodies to approve statutes which are confusing, technically wrong and opioneed by themselves. We now have more than 3 times the forms prior to the 1986 tax simplification act. The acting from New York wants cooperation between states and the IRS. Whey then do we not have state and federal tax statutes, rules, regulations and propcedures which are in agreement and not conflicting. With the constant changes occuring and the hasseling of the regulatory agencies, would someone want to explain why this lucrative avenue of tax preparation is a surprise to our governmental hound dogs????

Posted by: Jerry Burgoon | Sep 4, 2009 8:35:01 AM

It appears to me from reading the statements of the people from New York and Oregon, that they need a good education as to what ENROLLED AGENTS are. Their remarks totally ignored a very competent, capable, and dedicated group of tax professionals.

Posted by: Joel Jacobson | Sep 4, 2009 9:31:47 AM

The IRS is just getting involved in private industry, and wants tax preparers to become their personal auditors and agents without paying them. There is too much government interference in private sector, and this proves it. The more government interference, the closer we are to full socialism.

Posted by: Bob Hamel, EA | Sep 4, 2009 12:40:43 PM

During the 50 years of tax preparation, there have been many preparers who deserve censure. However, most of us are regulated and are mandated CPE. Others of us choose to remain current in our field. For those who are regulated and maintain high professional standards, these credentials should exempt us from further requirements.
However, government wants to grow bigger and spend more tax dollars.

Posted by: C Eugene Cranmer Jr | Sep 8, 2009 6:46:58 AM

As a tax preparer, not a CPA, I have 30 years experience preparing taxes and have been hired by many firms to clean up what 'degreed' tax preparers have done to their returns. While I would not necessarily be against licensing, I think that we have to realize that this will not cure anything. We will still have good and bad preparers across the board. And implementing any kind of accountability system will be cost prohibitive, on a system already bowing under the weight of compliance issues.

Posted by: Christine Scott | Sep 8, 2009 10:59:52 AM