AICPA Pushed for Disclaimer in Tax Preparer Ads

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The American Institute of CPAs convinced the Internal Revenue Service to require registered tax return preparers under the new IRS’s regulatory program to add a special disclaimer to any of their advertising to avoid the appearance of an IRS endorsement.

“We pushed the IRS to include a requirement for the tagline to be included in any ads by registered tax return preparers,” said AICPA vice president of taxation Edward Karl at the AICPA’s Fall Meeting of Council in Phoenix on Tuesday. “We urge everyone to be vigilant about the ads. This issue will be local for you. Some may try to take advantage of this program. If you see things that don’t smell right, let us know and we’ll tell the IRS.”

While the AICPA was successful in persuading the IRS to require the disclaimer, it had less success with the IRS’s new fingerprinting requirement for tax preparers. That came as a surprise to the Institute. It had only heard that the IRS wanted to do “suitability checks.”

“Between December and this summer, suitability checks turned into fingerprinting,” said Karl. He added that right now the IRS is contemplating an exemption for CPAs, and at a recent IRS hearing, AICPA Tax Executive Committee Chair Patricia Thompson made the point “very, very forcefully” to the IRS that CPAs should be exempted, according to Karl.

“That’s something we’re not going to compromise on,” he added.

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