Robert D. Flach has another CPA-bashing post, making the far-fetched assertion that the new “registered tax return preparer” designation created under the lame new power-grabbing IRS preparer regulation rules will displace CPAs in the tax market. Jason Dinesen, an Iowa enrolled agent, responds with CPAs: Don’t Fear the RTRP. I think enrolled agents have more to worry about, because most people don’t know that they are held to much stricter standards than RTRPs, with their open-book
literacy competency test.
It’s an old discussion that hasn’t progressed much. My position is here, but this illustration works as a summary:
Tax evasion: “tastes great” or “less filling?” Left-side tax prof and blogger Linda Beale says Tax evaders (and those who aide them), not regulatory complexities, cause tax evasion. That’s true as a tautology, but Peter Pappas correctly notes that complexity is a co-conspirator. When any set of rules gets too complex to follow short of unreasonable effort and expense, people cut more corners — and some ignore them altogether.
Jim Maule explains The Importance of Tax Record Keeping. It’s sad how many taxpayers cost themselves money by being unable to support their deductions on audit.
If you’ve ever tried to access records from the IRS, you’d know that the likelihood of finding 25 years of data in one place is practically nil. Prior to 1987 (that 25 year mark), tax returns were processed manually. Since that time, the IRS has become much more efficient, but a never ending supply of records isn’t generally available at the push of a button – even on the IRS side. Don’t believe me? Try ordering your old tax records.
So true. KayBell has more, “Romney tax returns obtained by IRS database hacker? Just kidding!“