National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson plans to make oversight of tax return preparers one of her office’s main priorities in the coming fiscal year.

In a report to Congress on her fiscal year 2010 objectives, Olson noted that “shopping visits” conducted by the Government Accountability Office, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and others suggest that “a high percentage of preparers prepare inaccurate returns, fail to perform sufficient due diligence, and even take positions that they know are not supportable,” she wrote. “This conduct usually results in understatements of tax (reducing federal tax revenue and potentially subjecting taxpayers to enforcement actions) and sometimes results in overstatements of tax (causing taxpayers to pay more than they owe).”

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