AICPA Supports IRS Program to Regulate Paid Tax Return Preparers

Friday, August 5, 2011 Print Email

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants told tax lawmakers it supports the Internal Revenue Service’s program as it is currently structured to regulate paid tax return preparers.

“We believe the IRS should be commended for its efforts to implement the return preparer program,” Patricia Thompson, chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, said at a hearing today before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee. “They listened to stakeholder concerns and suggestions, and they’ve gotten it right.”

The IRS began implementing its plan to regulate paid tax return preparers following release of its December 2009 report on the paid tax return preparer community. The IRS’ report was triggered by compliance studies issued by the Government Accountability Office and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that implicated the “unenrolled” preparer community as the source of compliance problems. Tax preparers who are not CPAs, attorneys or Enrolled Agents are known as “unenrolled” preparers.

Thompson specifically mentioned that the AICPA supports the following elements of the regulatory program:

- Registering paid tax return preparers and issuing them unique preparer tax identification numbers.

- Expanding the ethical umbrella of IRS Circular 230 over all paid income tax preparers.

- Creating a continuing education construct geared towards “unenrolled preparers.

- Implementing a basic Form 1040 oriented examination as a condition to become a “registered tax return preparer.”

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