August 24, 2021 – National Association of Enrolled Agents hosted a virtual media briefing today with partners H&R Block, Padgett Business Services, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in support of recently introduced legislation to establish minimum standards for paid tax preparers. Representatives from more than a dozen media organizations attended the briefing.

Discussion centered around the critical topic of regulation of tax return preparers and why it is important for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to address the question of unregulated tax return preparers.

The Taxpayer Protection and Preparer Proficiency Act of 2021 (H.R. 4184) was recently introduced by Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Tom Rice (R-SC).

There are approximately 460,000 uncredentialed tax return preparers who may not meet basic competency standards. As a result, many preparers are ill-equipped to assist taxpayers, resulting in inaccurate, and sometimes fraudulent, tax returns. Taxpayers should have confidence that they can expect minimum competency from their tax return preparers.

H.R. 4184 is a steppingstone to raising the industry’s standard to ensure that the new authority would require a background check, competency test, continuing education, and ethical standards.