Thursday, July 3, 2014
I hold these truths to be self-evident -
1. Mandatory licensing of tax return preparers will not reduce tax fraud. The news is full of tales of tax fraud perpetrated by CPAs and attorneys. Crooked taxpayers will always find accommodating crooked tax preparers, and vice versa.
2. Mandatory licensing of tax return preparers will not substantially reduce tax return errors. The major cause of tax return errors is the massive complexity of the Tax Code that has been created by the idiots in Congress.
3. A voluntary universally-accepted industry-based tax preparer designation/credential, like Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP,) will help the taxpayer public to correctly identify preparers who have proven competence and currency in 1040 preparation via testing and mandatory annual CPE in taxation, and will provide some much-deserved “respect” for competent and current currently “unenrolled” preparers.
4. A CPA, my mere virtue of being certified, has not proven competence and currency in 1040 preparation, and should not be “automatically” considered to be competent and current in 1040 preparation. An individual CPA may be competent and current in 1040 preparation, but it has absolutely nothing to do with having the initials CPA after his/her name.
5. A CPA with a second tax preparer designation/credential, like ATP, acquired by meeting all of the normal requirements, will have proven competence and currency in 1040 preparation.
Do you agree?