Saturday, August 1, 2009

Existing Law Sufficient to Regulate Preparers

Glad to see the AICPA is on board with me about the IRS' push to register all tax return preparers:
The IRS already has authority to regulate currently unlicensed tax return preparers without additional legislation, the chair of an AICPA tax committee told the Service in a public forum Thursday in Washington.

Michael P. Dolan, chair of the AICPA’s IRS Practice and Procedures Committee, made the remarks during a panel presentation that heard from other tax professional groups, with an earlier panel focused on consumer and low-income taxpayer groups. This forum was the first of several planned open meetings held by the IRS as it formulates proposals to regulate all paid tax preparers.

Licensed preparers—CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents—should be exempted from any new federal regulatory regime covering currently unlicensed preparers, Dolan said. Licensed preparers are already subject to Circular 230 regulations governing their practice before the Service, as overseen by the IRS’ Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). CPAs and attorneys also are subject to requirements of state boards of accountancy and state bars, respectively. And if they are members of professional organizations, they may be subject to those organizations’ codes of conduct, such as the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct and Statements on Standards for Tax Services.

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