January 23, 2020
To: Members of the Michigan House of Representatives
From: Americans for Tax Reform
Re: SB 269
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and our supporters across Michigan, I urge you to support SB 269, a bill that would allow the state to prevent tax preparers who consistently fail to provide promised services from filing Michigan state returns.
With tax filing season in full swing, now is the perfect time to address this issue which weakens the integrity of the tax filing system, and threatens Michigan taxpayers. While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN), there is little meaningful oversight through this program for preparers.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report that includes several alarming findings on the program’s shortfalls.
For one, TIGTA found the IRS does not revoke PTINs from tax return preparers who are not compliant with their tax filing and payment obligations – combined these returners owed $367 million as of early 2015.
Further, the IRS did not revoke PTINs from people who the IRS identified as barred from preparing tax returns. The IRS also does not revoke PTINs from preparers who have committed felonies directly related to federal taxes.
ATR is a strong supporter of occupational licensing reform that allows former offenders a path toward obtaining a license. Yet, good, forward-thinking occupational licensing reform specifically maintains the ability of boards to exclude those who have committed a crime directly related to the profession for which they’re applying.
Instead of waiting for action in Washington as tax filing seasons continue to come and go, state legislators can pass SB 269 to address these issues. The bill would protect taxpayers, holding negligent preparers accountable by allowing the state to bar them from filing returns in Michigan. It would also require preparers provide a signature and PTIN on every return, to protect against scams.
ATR urges you to support SB 269 to protect Michigan taxpayers and the integrity of the tax filing system.
Grover G. Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform