Taxes

Occupational Licensing Abuse Meets the IRS

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Writing at The Daily Caller, Institute for Justice attorney Dan Alban highlights a new occupational licensing scheme cooked up by the IRS that threatens to make tax time even worse:

Who would you rather prepare your taxes?  A professional tax return preparer with over a dozen years experience in preparing tax returns for taxpayers without incident.  Or me, an attorney who has never so much as taken a law school class or continuing legal education course in tax law, and gave up on doing his own taxes last year once he started needing to itemize his deductions.  You probably think you'd prefer the first option, but the IRS says you're wrong.

At a hearing that I am testifying at today, the IRS will consider adopting a sweeping licensing scheme that would place the careers of 700,000 tax preparers in jeopardy and likely harm over 87 million American taxpayers while benefiting a few politically-favored insiders.

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  1. Note to self: Buy even more ammo.

  2. while benefiting a few politically-favored insiders.

    Just as long as those pesky Koch brothers get audited.

    1. Shhh, it’s the Koch brothers’ support of a free market that benefits “a few politically-favored insiders” not licensing schemes and regulations sponsored by our supporters.

      Didn’t you get the memo?

  3. Hey if you have to get a license to be an interior decorator then its kinda odd that tax preparers, who can actually screw your life up really bad, don’t.

    On the other hand, as a lawyer who got A’s in tax classes in law school, I wouldn’t do anybody’s taxes unless it was a couple of W-2’s and the standard deduction.

    1. Hey if you have to get a license to be an interior decorator then its kinda odd that tax preparers, who can actually screw your life up really bad, don’t.

      No, it’s kinda odd that you have to get a license to be an interior decorator. That’s the only odd thing in that sentence.

    2. If you as a consumer really worry about quality you could make sure you choose an enrolled agent. They have to pass a bunch of tests and go through continuing ed for that. (My mom was one, that is why I know of them).

      Also H&R Block does a good job of educating its preparers. Much better than the IRS help line which gets lots of answers wrong and if you take that bad advice you are on the hook for the error not them.

  4. Once the Big Muddy Plan is instituted those poor bastards will be out of a job anyway, ’cause those jobs are purely an artifact of an out-of-control tax code in the first place.

    On the upside, this would drive more anger about the tax code and might help to bring the Big Muddy Plan to fruition.

  5. It really designed to protect the ignorant consumer from fly by night tax prepareres who don’t ensure every legal deduction is taken.

    That’s how the IRS rolls with the right people in charge.

  6. At a hearing that I am testifying at today, the IRS will consider adopting a sweeping licensing scheme that would place the careers of 700,000 tax preparers in jeopardy…

    Just for the record, I’d be OK with this if we were largely abolishing the IRS, via a flat tax or the like.

  7. I’m glad people are finally noticing this IRS power grab. I fear it’s too late to stop it, but I’d like to be wrong.

  8. Hope and Change, along with making jobs.

  9. You need a license to fly a plane, and understanding the tax code is harder than flying a plane. 😉

    1. Damnit, it cut off my smiley face.

  10. As a CPA I strongly support this measure.

    We can call it the by me a porche bill of 2010.

  11. Another step towards third world efficiency!

    Anecdotal, but, while I was stationed in Panama, there were ‘agents’ who knew the system (and the people running it), who, for a modest fee, would take care of running one’s automobile registration through the beauracracy, including the acquisition of the various (as in more than one) tax stamps that had to be purchased and affixed just so to the 15″x22″ 7 ply multi colored registration forms required to register one’s vehicle.

    Foolishly, I rejected this $25 alternative, and insisted on doing it myself, since, hey, I speak Spanish, so, hey, what could go wrong?

    Three weeks later I scheduled a meeting with one of the ‘coyotes’ at one of the local chicken joints such professional hung out at, and had it taken care of in an afternoon.

    That’s pretty much where I see things heading. A chicken joint and a shady exchange of money with a fixer to get anything done.

    1. And to this day, people are amazed when I have a smile on my face after sitting at DMV for an hour and a half, but managed to get everything taken care of in one trip.

    2. So you mean it’s just like Maryland?

  12. At a hearing that I am testifying at today, the IRS will consider adopting a sweeping licensing scheme that would place the careers of 700,000 tax preparers in jeopardy and likely harm over 87 million American taxpayers while benefiting a few politically-favored insiders.

    Don’t worry, guys. Barry will be along to save/create your job in just a few…what a minute! You aren’t in a public-sector union? And you didn’t donate to Barry? Well you can just go ahead and play in traffic then!

  13. Dan Alban highlights a new occupational licensing scheme cooked up by the IRS

    The tax preparers’ unionization is Step 2.

    I’m beginning to think the Obama administration wants a shooting revolution.

  14. Thank you for the details on this matter. Hopefully they will not change the tax preparation professionals requirements because the system seems to have been working pretty well and it doesn’t make sense to change something that has been operating and successfully serving so many people.

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