According to an article in the Star-Telegram, the IRS is considering new rules that require tax preparers to be licensed in hopes of reducing fraud and tax preparation errors.
The article quoted IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman:
Shulman said he wants better leverage to make sure tax preparers act ethically, not only to improve enforcement, but to ensure that taxpayers get quality help in preparing their returns.
“Paying taxes is one of the largest financial transactions individual Americans have each year, and we need to make sure that professionals who serve them are ethical and ensure the right amount of tax is paid,” Shulman told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight.
Currently tax preparers aren’t required to be licensed unless they plan to represent taxpayers in proceedings with the IRS. And although using a tax preparer is relatively inexpensive compared to a tax accountant, many unscrupulous tax preparers have taken advantage of low income taxpayers, according to the article. Since 2006, 356 tax preparers were convicted of fraud with over 80 percent of them going to prison. These convictions don’t just create problems for the tax preparers; it’s their clients who end up paying the additional taxes, interest and penalties.
Yes, tax season is behind us; but it’s worth reminding taxpayers that you are ultimately responsible for information submitted on your tax return. Make sure you work with an experienced tax professional when filing your taxes, even if they’re late and you owe money. Remember, if you owe back taxes, you may be able to discharge these taxes in Chapter 7 bankruptcy or repay them in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy . To find out more about how bankruptcy can help you get a handle on your taxes contact a Dallas-Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney today.