AICPA Recommends Changes to Senate Finance Committee Proposal to Grant Broad Authority to IRS to Regulate Paid Tax Return Preparers

Expresses Support for Provisions to Prevent Taxpayer Identity Theft and Tax Refund Fraud

September 15, 2015

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 15, 2015) – In a letter to the Senate Finance Committee today, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) commended the committee for its efforts to combat identity theft and tax fraud in the Chairman’s Mark of a Bill to Prevent Identity Theft and Tax Refund Fraud, but spelled out concerns regarding the bill’s provision granting broad authority to the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to regulate paid tax return preparers.

AICPA Tax Executive Committee Chair Troy K. Lewis noted that in order to prevent potential overregulation, unnecessary administrative costs, marketplace confusion or other unintended consequences, the AICPA recommends that Congress prescript language that grants the IRS the specific authority necessary to address the concerns of incompetent and fraudulent, currently-unenrolled tax return preparers.  At a minimum, he said the AICPA encourages Congress to limit the IRS’s authority to require a PTIN and require the IRS to take steps to mitigate marketplace confusion.

The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to mark up the bill on Sept. 16 at 10:00 am Eastern Time.