Monday, May 13, 2013
Nina E. Olson (National Taxpayer Advocate), More Than a 'Mere' Preparer: Loving and Return Preparation, 139 Tax Notes 767 (May 13, 2013):
Each year, tens of millions of taxpayers hire paid
practitioners to prepare their Form 1040-series returns
because of the overwhelming complexity of
the tax code and the amount of money at stake.
That has led to significant concerns about incompetent
and unscrupulous preparers and their negative
impact on taxpayers and compliance. The IRS
and Treasury had developed and substantially
implemented standards governing preparers when,
in Loving v. IRS, a U.S. district court found that
Treasury lacked the authority to issue the regulations.
The government has appealed the case to the
D.C. Circuit. The NTA believes that the district
court’s decision in Loving is based in part on an
outdated understanding of return preparation and
filing. This report makes the case for preparer
regulation generally, explains where the district
court erred, and illustrates how problems in today’s
tax system are directly analogous to the problem
Congress sought to address in its original grant of
regulatory authority to Treasury.
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