January 09,2015

Press Contact:

Lindsey Held (Wyden): 202-224-4515
Sue Walitsky (Cardin): 202-224-4524

Wyden, Cardin Introduce Legislation to Help Protect Consumers from Fraudulent Tax Preparers

Bill Offers Federal Standards to Regulate Paid Preparers

WASHINGTON –Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., today unveiled legislation that provides the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) explicit authority to regulate paid tax return preparers.

With nearly half of all Americans turning to others to prepare their tax filings each year, this bill requires that preparers demonstrate competency in preparing tax returns, claims for refunds and related documents.

“It’s bad enough that taxpayers have to navigate their way through an overly complex tax code, but worse that many also unknowingly rely on fraudulent or incompetent tax preparers to help with their returns,” said Wyden. “This bill helps protect hard working taxpayers by ensuring that tax preparers are held to clear and enforceable standards.”

“Our tax code is complicated. To protect taxpayers from incompetent or unscrupulous preparers, the IRS needs adequate tools to ensure that preparers are qualified and held accountable,” said Cardin. “I’m pleased to join in support of this legislation, which restores meaningful and much-needed standards and oversight in the paid preparer industry.”

The committee reviewed this issue during a hearing on April 8, 2014.

The text of the legislation is available here. A summary can be found here.