The part time preparer is an important person in many (often less wealthy) communities. A trusted aunt or uncle, or perhaps the lady a couple of blocks down the road “who does taxes,” a pastor, the “non-professional” tax preparers help a large segment of the US population remain tax compliant. But for the past 2 years the IRS has been trying to eliminate these folks with licensing rules. Rules which just happen to benefit the big tax preparation companies.
(From The Washington Times)
There’s big money in preparing taxes, and the leaders of the business like the idea of licensing, which would hobble the accountant or the man or woman who’s good with figures. A spokesman for Intuit, maker of a popular software program that enables consumers to prepare and file their own returns, makes the argument for stifling competition. “The public interest is best served when all competing tax-service providers meet high standards.” That’s easy for him to say. The large tax-preparation firms supervised by certified public accountants escape licensing. For the part-time preparer it’s often not worth the hassle of the licensing red tape. Eliminating competitors will make the annual ritual more expensive, time consuming and annoying.