June 19, 2019

NAEA Urges Congress to Pass the Taxpayer Protection and Prepayer Proficiency Act, Introduced By Congress Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Ted Yoho (FL-3)

Washington, D.C., June 19, 2019 — NAEA thanks Congressmen Panetta and Yoho for introducing this bipartisan, long overdue, and much needed taxpayer protection bill.

Enrolled agents all too frequently see the negative consequences for taxpayers who unknowingly rely on either ill-educated or unscrupulous tax return preparers.

By holding all paid tax return preparers to the same minimum standards of tax law knowledge and ethical code of conduct, the Panetta/Yoho bill will assure taxpayers that any paid return preparer has demonstrated at least a minimum level of initial competency and is required to meet minimum annual continuing education requirements.

Under current law, however, anyone can hold themselves out as an “expert” in tax return preparation. The government requires numerous types of professionals to demonstrate some level of competency before they can practice, from doctors and lawyers and plumbers and electricians to hairdressers and manicurists.

Congress has failed to require the same for purposes of preparing federal tax returns, even though taxpayers can face huge penalties, wage garnishment, and liens on their property and businesses if their returns aren’t correctly and properly prepared.

“The consequences of a bad haircut fade in a few weeks, while the consequences of a bad tax return can weigh upon an unsuspecting taxpayer for years and years,” said Robert Kerr, EA, NAEA Executive Vice President. “Enrolled agents have been advocating for fundamental taxpayer protections, like Panetta/Yoho bill, for the better part of the 21st century—it is time, and in fact it is past time for this common-sense solution.”

NAEA represents over fifty thousand enrolled agents, the only tax professionals credentialed by the Department of Treasury to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. We look forward to working with our fellow Circular 230 professionals to get this much needed bill passed into law during the 116th Congress.

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About the National Association of Enrolled Agents

The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) has been powering enrolled agents, America's tax experts®, for more than 45 years. NAEA is a non-profit membership organization composed of tax specialists licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department. NAEA provides the networking, educational opportunities, programs and services that enable enrolled agents and other tax professionals to excel beyond their peers. Enrolled agents are the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who both specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. To find out more, visit www.naea.org and follow NAEA on Facebook and Twitter.

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