ABA Statement on Tax Preparer Regulation

ABA Statement on Tax Preparer Regulation

Share this

abalogoThe American Bar Associations’ Section on Taxation last week issued an official statement to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman in support of tax preparer regulation. 

In order to level the playing field among tax preparers and improve the quality of tax preparation services, the Section of Taxation recommends that a core competency exam be given to would be paid preparers and annual continuing education requirements be imposed on them.

Here are some other highlights of the statement:

  • Paid return preparers are not subject to educational or other competency requirements.
  • Attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents (“Regulated Professionals”) are subject to ethical requirements and, in most jurisdictions, continuing professional education requirements.
  • Regulated Professionals are subject to oversight by the Office of Professional Responsibility with respect to their practice before the Service pursuant to Circular 230. By contrast, paid preparers are subject only to the Internal Revenue Code’s preparer penalties.
  • A uniform system of identifying paid preparers will be necessary to verify that a particular preparer meets [the] requirements.

The Section of Taxation also addressed the issue raised by my friend Mary O’Keefe over at Union College VITA Training:

[I]t is important that any registration program not burden or interfere with volunteer tax assistance programs, such as VITA, or other non-commercial tax return preparation for low-income taxpayers, relatives, civic groups. 

Download the entire letter.

Related Posts:

See all posts under Regulation of Tax Preparers category.

About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida