Rep. Estes and Rep. Sewell Introduce Tax Preparer Legislation
WASHINGTON—Congressman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Alabama) introduced bipartisan legislation today to protect taxpayers by allowing the IRS to remove bad actors from preparing taxes. Currently, tax preparers must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). This legislation creates a process to allow the IRS to revoke a tax preparer's PTIN based on negligence, fraud or abuse of the tax system.
“This bipartisan legislation will protect taxpayers by ensuring the IRS can revoke the certification for unqualified tax preparers,” said Rep. Estes. “As we work to simplify our tax code and support taxpayers, this is an important step to restore faith in tax preparers."
“Approximately 60 percent of taxpayers use paid preparers to help them file their taxes, and the IRS receives more than 10,000 complaints about bad actors every year,” said Rep. Sewell. “This legislation will help crack down on disreputable tax preparers who often target and take advantage of the most vulnerable members of our communities.”
Currently, the IRS has little authority to prevent bad actors from becoming preparers or remove them once they have received a PTIN. Each year, approximately 60 percent of taxpayers seek assistance from a tax preparer. However, the IRS has identified nearly 20,000 registered preparers who are potentially non-compliant with their own tax filing and payment obligations.
While the IRS can identify potential violations or non-compliance, it has little authority to revoke a PTIN. As of May 2017, only 1,700 of 1.3 million PTINs have been revoked. Currently a preparer's own tax compliance and criminal conviction history are not cause for revoking a PTIN.
Ron Estes is a 5th generation Kansan and represents Kansas’ 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means.