The executive vice president of the National Society of Accountants (NSA) has issued a statement regarding the recent court ruling in which a judge found that the IRS should not have regulatory power over tax preparers.
Last Friday, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled that the IRS cannot continue with its Registered Tax Return Preparer program, and issued an injunction to halt any current CPE training or testing requirements.
NSA Statement by John Ams of the NSA:
"The National Society of Accountants (NSA) is disappointed in the court ruling that bars the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from implementing its Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) program. We have long supported the registration of paid preparers and continuing education requirements so that preparers have the up-to-date knowledge needed to prepare complete and accurate tax returns for their clients.
NSA members routinely stay current on tax laws through continuing education, and members are required to complete at least 16 hours of continuing professional education each year and a minimum of 72 hours in each three-year reporting cycle. These are reputable preparers who are also required to adhere to a strict code of ethics.
However, there are paid tax preparers out there who are not always qualified, and when these preparers do a poor job it hurts taxpayers and reflects poorly on the entire profession of paid tax preparers. Unfortunately, the court decision opens the door to the unscrupulous and the incompetent to the detriment of all.
We worked closely with the IRS for several years to develop the RTRP program and will work with the IRS and Congress to fashion a new program that is in the best interest of taxpayers and our profession.
We will closely monitor this issue and continue to advise NSA members on their legal requirements regarding the RTRP program and the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) program, which is also important to allow the IRS to more easily identify unqualified paid tax preparers.
The IRS has not yet stated whether it will appeal, but many professional organizations are urging them to do so, in order to protect taxpayers from non-qualified preparers.