IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman intends to propose a comprehensive set of recommendations to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and President Obama by the end of 2009 to ensure "uniform and high ethical standards of conduct for tax preparers" in order to increase taxpayer compliance.

Some of the potential recommendations coming out of the IRS could include a new model for regulation of tax preparers, as well as increased service, outreach, education and training of preparers, along with stepped-up enforcement to deter tax preparer misconduct.

The effort will initially involve a fact-finding stage, with the IRS receiving input from various constituents, including enrolled agents, lawyers and accountants, as well as unlicensed preparers and software vendors. The effort will also seek input from consumer groups and taxpayers. "We plan to have a transparent and open dialogue about the issues," said Shulman. "At this early and critical stage of the process, we need to hear from the broadest possible range of stakeholders."

Later this year, the IRS plans to hold a number of open meetings in Washington and around the country with different constituent groups to discuss the issue.

The schedules and agendas for the public meetings will be posted on the "Tax Professionals" page on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov and will be communicated to various stakeholder groups.

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