AICPA applauds House passage of tax provision essential to CPAs

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that includes a provision the accounting profession and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have supported that would equalize the tax return reporting standards for tax preparers and taxpayers.

"Today's action by the House is a significant step forward in our fight to solve a critical problem for CPAs nationwide," said Barry C. Melancon, president and chief executive officer of the AICPA. "We extend our thanks to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel for his steadfast support to enact this provision into law. CPAs regard it as essential."

The language is included in H.R. 6049, the "Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008," which is commonly known as the tax extenders bill. The House approved the bill by a vote of 263 to 160.

Melancon said legislation is the only way to correct the flawed law passed by Congress in May of 2007 that raised the tax return reporting standards for tax return preparers to a level higher than that required of taxpayers. He explained that the unequal thresholds produced by that law can create conflicts of interest between preparers and their clients, and consequently would affect the nature of taxpayers' representation.

Melancon also recognized the important efforts of Representative Joseph Crowley, a New York Democrat, and Representative Jim Ramstad, a Minnesota Republican, who introduced H.R. 4318, a bill to equalize the tax return reporting standards, which was incorporated into H.R. 6049.

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