Bill targets unqualified tax preparers


Reps. Ron Estes (R-KS) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced this week a bill designed to address unqualified tax preparers.

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The measure protects taxpayers by allowing the IRS to remove such persons from preparing taxes.

“This bipartisan legislation will protect taxpayers by ensuring the IRS can revoke the certification for unqualified tax preparers,” Estes said. “As we work to simplify our tax code and support taxpayers, this is an important step to restore faith in tax preparers.”

Presently tax preparers must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), officials said, noting the legislation creates a process to allow the IRS to revoke a tax preparer’s PTIN based on negligence, fraud or abuse of the tax system.

“Approximately 60 percent of taxpayers use paid preparers to help them file their taxes, and the IRS receives more than 10,000 complaints about bad actors every year,” Sewell said. “This legislation will help crack down on disreputable tax preparers who often target and take advantage of the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

The bill stems from the IRS having little authority to prevent unqualified persons from becoming preparers or remove them once they have received a PTIN. Each year approximately 60 percent of taxpayers seek assistance from a tax preparer.

The IRS has identified nearly 20,000 registered preparers who are potentially non-compliant with their own tax filing and payment obligations.

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