AICPA Raises Strong Legal Concerns About IRS Voluntary Program Proposal

Posted on June 25, 2014 View More News

In the wake of Loving v. I.R.S., which prevents the Internal Revenue Service from implementing a mandatory preparer registration program for unenrolled tax preparers, the IRS is actively considering a “voluntary certification” program.

After repeated requests to the IRS to either seek public comment on its proposed program or to consider alternatives, the AICPA sent a letter June 24 to the agency stating that the program “would cause significant legal problems that may ultimately frustrate the IRS’s goals, confuse the public, and lead to litigation.”

“…It is our understanding that the IRS has no intention of slowing down or considering viable alternatives,” the AICPA wrote to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Therefore, we feel compelled to consider our next steps, and to raise more formally our legal and policy concerns with the IRS’s current path.” In the letter, Chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors William E. (Bill) Balhoff, CPA, CGMA, CFF, and President and CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, emphasized lack of statutory authority, the program's failure to address problems caused by unethical preparers and market confusion.

They also noted in the letter that “we value our longstanding and constructive relationship” with the IRS. “We have sought to work with the IRS to achieve workable solutions to regulate tax-return preparers, and protect the public, and we stand ready to continue these efforts,” Balhoff and Melancon stated.

For more information, read this Journal of Accountancy article.

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