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Press Release

New York CPAs React to Court’s Decision to Nix Tax Preparer Regulation

By:
Alonza Robertson, NYSSCPA Media Relations Manager
Published Date:
Feb 12, 2014

NEW YORK – (February 12, 2014)  - Today’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld a previous federal court’s ruling that the IRS cannot impose mandatory exams, education requirements and annual registration fees on tax preparers without Congressional authorization.

 
Of the 142 million individual income tax returns filed in 2011, nearly half of those taxpayers used a paid return preparer; but the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog organization, has found significant problems with the quality of the work done.
 
Although attorneys and certified public accountants would have been exempt from the proposed rules several CPAs from the New York State Society of CPAs reacted strongly to the news of the court’s decision Tuesday.
 
“The potential impact is that the storefront tax preparer will thrive on the ignorant and the fraud will continue,” said Vincent Cosenza, CPA and tax manager at Shanolt, Glassman, Klein and Kramer PC in New York City.
 
“Much of what the IRS was looking for is already being done by most CPA firms.  Having a strong system of quality control for tax return preparation and continuing professional education is in part what differentiates a CPA firm from H&R Block and other non-CPA firms,” said David Young, CPA and owner of Young & Company CPAs LLC in Rochester, N.Y.
 
“The taxpayer is ultimately responsible for what is on his or her income tax return,” Young said and offered consumers some advice.
 
“When choosing a tax preparer, the taxpayer should consider the possible negative ramifications of choosing an unregulated and unlicensed tax return preparer.  It would be wise for the taxpayer to ask about the tax preparer’s qualifications, continuing professional education, and the firm’s quality control as it relates to tax returns.”     
 
“I am a little upset that unlicensed tax preparers don’t have to deal with taking CPE (continual professional education classes),” said Johnpaul Crocenzi, CPA and tax manager at Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP in New York, “ and keeping themselves up to date with new legislation,” as CPA are required to do annually.  
 
“Having the IRS regulate tax preparers will actually protect the consumer from having a tax return done by someone that doesn’t know or understand the tax code,” he said.
 
Although the IRS proposed regulation of tax return preparers did not directly impact CPAs there is always a concern about regulations that can creep into other areas, said Kevin McCoy, CPA and director of Marvin and Company near Albany, N.Y.  But “until the IRS is granted the authority by Congress, it appears the unlicensed tax return preparers are free to continue to operate as before,” he said.
 
For more information or to schedule an interview with these NYSSCPA members, please contact Alonza Robertson atarobertson@nysscpa.org or call 212.719.8405
 
About the NYSSCPA
 
Founded in 1897, the NYSSCPA is the premiere professional accounting association for more than 29,000 certified public accountants residing and practicing in New York State, encompassing all areas of public practice, including in government, education, and industry. Visit our website,www.nysscpa.org, for more information.