Geiss Introduces Legislation to Protect Taxpayers from Bad Return Preparers

LANSING — Sen. Erika Geiss (D–Taylor) today introduced the Taxpayer Protection Act to help protect Michigan taxpayers and their tax returns by giving the Michigan Department of Treasury the resources to identify and stop bad tax preparers.

“The vast majority of paid tax preparers work diligently to ensure that Michiganders pay no more and no less tax than is due by law. Unfortunately, some abuse this privilege,” Sen. Geiss said. “The Taxpayer Protection Act will bolster the tools available to the Department of Treasury to detect and stop patterns of abuse by certain paid tax preparers. By holding tax preparers to the highest standards of integrity and ethics, this legislation will protect Michigan taxpayers during the tax season and beyond.”

According to the Internal Revenue Service, about 60% of taxpayers use a paid tax professional to prepare their returns. However, there are few laws that protect taxpayers from tax preparers who are known to be unqualified and repeatedly submit incorrect tax materials.

Senate Bill 269 includes provisions to exempt Certified Public Accountants, or CPAs, since their rigorous ethical and licensing standards already address required tax preparation criteria. The CPA profession remains committed to ensuring the public can rely on those privileged to utilize the CPA designation behind their names.

“H&R Block applauds Senator Geiss for her leadership on the Taxpayer Protection Act. For many families in Michigan and across the country, tax returns are the largest and most important financial transaction of the year,” Bailey Childers, H&R Block Director of State Government Relations, said. “This important new law is a good first step to help protect Michigan taxpayers by giving the state the ability to stop identified bad preparers.”


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