Proposal to Regulate Tax Preparers in “Protecting Taxpayers Act” Has AICPA’s Support

August 2, 2018

  • Section 202 of the bill, S. 3278, would protect taxpayers from incompetent and unscrupulous preparers

Washington, D.C. (August 1, 2018) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) today expressed its support for the provisions of the Protecting Taxpayers Act, S. 3278, that would regulate tax return preparers.

In a letter (attached) to the bi-partisan bill’s sponsors, Senators Rob Portman and Ben Cardin, the AICPA stated, “On behalf of our members, the AICPA would like to express its support for Section 202, Regulation of Tax Return Preparers, which will help to promote good tax administration and protect the interests of the American taxpayer by protecting taxpayers from incompetent and unscrupulous preparers.”

The AICPA wrote that S. 3278, by authorizing the Internal Revenue Service to sanction tax return preparers and revoke preparer tax identification numbers (PTIN), would allow the agency to “act swiftly and efficiently to stop preparers from continuing to file inaccurate and fraudulent tax returns.”

Importantly, the AICPA noted, the rights of tax advisers are protected by the bill.  For example, prior to a preparer’s PTIN number being rescinded, the preparer would receive a notice and have the right to a hearing.

“S. 3278 also provides appropriate exceptions from the [bill’s] competency provisions for attorneys, certified public accountants (CPA), enrolled agents and individuals supervised by these professionals,” the AICPA wrote.  “We appreciate that you recognize the inherent regulatory regime within which CPAs and other legacy Circular 230 practitioners already practice, as well as the fact that CPA firms must stand, as a matter of licensure, behind the work done by the members and employees of their firms.”

The AICPA commended Senators Portman and Cardin for introducing S. 3278.  “We appreciate your efforts to ensure a service-oriented, modernized tax administration system that earns the respect and appreciation of both taxpayers and their advisers.”