CPA group questions Senate proposal

An advocacy group for certified public accountants said Tuesday that they took issue with a Senate proposal to give the IRS more power to regulate paid tax preparers. 

The American Institute of CPAs generally praised the broader measure, aimed at battling identity theft and tax fraud, that the Senate Finance Committee will consider on Wednesday.


But the group said that it wanted Congress to limit the IRS's ability to require identification numbers for preparers, and expressed concern that the Senate proposal would cause confusion among taxpayers. 

In a letter to Finance Committee leaders, the CPA advocates floated the idea of not forcing accountants to use the IRS numbers, known as Paid Tax Identification Numbers, in all cases.

The group added that it wanted to "mitigate" any potential confusion among taxpayers over the proposal, and for the IRS to make it clear that it doesn't endorse any particular kind of tax preparer.

On top of that, the CPA organization says that preparers using the IRS identification numbers should be forced to make it clear that they're not accountants in any advertisements.

The group liked other provisions in the measure, from Finance Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah) and Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Trump: 'Great to see' Pelosi plan to lower drug prices Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices MORE (D-Ore.), including proposals to allow the IRS to require truncated Social Security numbers on tax forms and to require the agency to regularly report to Congress about its efforts to battle identity theft. 

The IRS and government watchdogs have all said that thieves have been using stolen Social Security numbers to claim fake tax refunds at a growing rate in recent years.