Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Senate Queries Tax Preparers

Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Max Baucus (D-MT) have sent a 34-item questionnaire to major tax preparers. The questionnaire addresses such issues as employee training, prior IRS complaints, gross revenues and SEC filings. Recent issues such as a possible fraud finding, promotion of tax refund loans and other investment vehicles of questionable value to taxpayers and an unsuccessful Free File Alliance have also been addressed. Grassley asserts that the questionnaire is designed to buttress legislation that will assure that the taxpayer's interest is held paramount by preparers and make tax preparers accountable.

There may be evidence of some misconduct in the tax preparation market; in my opinion, however, misconduct has not been pervasive enough to justify government "jawboning", much less new regulations. Having said this, my guess is that Russ Fox (Taxable Talk), Kerry Kerstetter (Tax Guru), Joe Kristan (Roth CPA Updates) and others may have more forthright commentary on this questionnaire and possibility of new regulations.


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