Ex-senator lobbying for H&R Block

Former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has registered to lobby on behalf of the tax preparation company H&R Block.

Kyl and a colleague at his new employer, Covington & Burling, will advocate on behalf of H&R Block in favor of the “creation of minimum standards for paid tax preparers,” according to a registration form.

A federal appeals court ruled in 2014 that the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t have the authority to broadly regulate preparers. Since then, some members of Congress have been interested in legislation that would grant the IRS more authority to regulate preparers. However, some Republicans have expressed concerns about giving the IRS more power in the wake of the political-targeting scandal.

After the appeals court ruling, the IRS launched a voluntary education program for unregulated preparers, an effort H&R Block has supported.

Kyl served in the Senate from 1995 to 2013. During his time there, he served as the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight and was a member of Republican leadership.

He joined Covington after retiring from Congress and now lobbies on a wide array of issues for a diverse group of clients, including Anheuser-Busch and Merck.

H&R Block has also hired another firm, Fierce Government Relations, that it is lobbying on “oversight of tax preparation” for the company.

Forbes-Tate and Rock Creek Counsel also lobby for H&R Block, and the company has its own in-house lobbyists.