Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2016) – The following is a statement by Edward Karl, CPA, CGMA, vice president of taxation of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), in reaction to the Senate Finance Committee’s markup today of the Taxpayer Protection Act of 2016:
“The AICPA welcomes the Senate Finance Committee’s action to prevent identity theft and tax refund fraud. We have a longstanding position of supporting provisions that mitigate tax identity theft, including expansion of the Identity Protection PIN system to all taxpayers, making it a felony for a person to use a stolen identity to file a return, increased electronic filing of returns by paid tax return preparers, and reports to Congress by the GAO about identity theft and tax refund fraud.
“We also share the goal of the committee and its leaders to elevate the competency and ethical conduct of tax return preparers. And we are especially grateful to Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the committee’s ranking member, for offering an amendment calling for a practical approach to preparer regulation. His proposal contained many of the AICPA’s recommendations to protect the public from incompetent and fraudulent tax preparers, including granting the IRS the authority to revoke Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs), requiring only those signing a return to obtain a PTIN and mitigating marketplace confusion by requiring unlicensed PTIN holders who advertise to direct taxpayers to the IRS website where differences between preparers are explained.
“We support the passage of the Taxpayer Protection Act of 2016 and we look forward to working with Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden to address preparer regulation and protect the interests of the American taxpayer.”