April 2, 2019
To: Missouri State Legislature
From: Americans for Tax Reform
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and our supporters across Missouri, I urge you to support and pass SB 118/HB 585. This legislation would allow the state to prevent tax preparers from filing Missouri state returns when they consistently fail to provide promised services.
As tax filing season is in full swing, now is the time to address this issue which weakens the integrity of the tax filing system and threatens Missouri 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 – a principle that can be followed in the tax filing system as well.
Instead of waiting for action in Washington as tax filing seasons continue to come and go, state legislators can pass commonsense legislation in SB 118/HB 585 to address these issues.
This bill would protect taxpayers by allowing the state to hold negligent preparers accountable for their actions. The legislation would also require preparers to provide a signature and PTIN on every return, to protect against scams.
ATR urges you to pass SB 118/HB 585 to protect Missouri taxpayers and the integrity of the tax filing system.
Grover G. Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform