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Preparers support higher penalties on negligent and fraudulent taxwriters

June 29, 2011

20110629-1.gifThe tax law is so complicated that errors and manipulation are rife. So what does a guy largely responisble for creating the problem do? Blame the preparers, of course. From Tennessee Tax Guy:

Yesterday, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) added several last minute changes, including the imposition of higher penalties on paid tax preparers, to a package of free trade agreements with foreign countries such as Korea, Panama and Colombia and a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program designed to provide relief to workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade.

We'd get much further with severe penalties for negligent and fruadulent tax legislation. Here are some ideas:

- For any effort to "solve" a problem with a new tax credit or deduction: a choice between two hours in the stocks in every county seat in the congresscritter's home state, or riding a bike naked across Iowa in January.

- For every bill drafted with the fraudulent title of "temporary" to game the budget scorekeeping process, like the dozens of "extenders" passed every year or two, a choice between public flogging or resigning from office and permanent exile to a monastary, subject to an eternal vow of silence.

But this might be way too lenient.

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Amen. If they wanted to clean up problems with preparers, it would be far more effective to create a uniform, private cause of action under the IRC for tax malpractice. But then they couldn't count it as a revenue raiser.

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