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State Board Report

May 2016

A party-line vote of the Senate Finance Committee on April 20 blocked an amendment to the Bill to Prevent Identity Theft and Tax Refund Fraud. The amendment would have given the Department of the Treasury authority to develop minimum standards for paid tax return preparers. Although the original Bill was passed by the Committee, the amendment proposed by Senator Ron Wyden (DOR) did not have Republican support. Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said they would continue working on the issue but were concerned about the breadth of the authority the amendment would give to the government.

The AICPA wrote to Senators Wyden and Hatch on April 19: "Since some taxpayers are already confused by the different qualifications of preparers and the varying practice rights that they possess, we support the provision in the Wyden amendment that subjects the currently-unenrolled community to the guidance in Notice 2011-45, 2011-25 IRB 86. To mitigate marketplace confusion, it is important that unlicensed PTIN holders using any paid advertising involving print, television, radio or other medium – in which the individual represents themselves as a registered tax return preparer – should display or broadcast a statement directing the taxpaying public to the IRS website where the differences between the various types of preparers (e.g., qualifications) are explained, and informing the public that the IRS does not endorse any particular tax return preparer."

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