Statement: H&R Block responds to U.S. Court of Appeals Loving vs. IRS ruling

February 11, 2014

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Treasury Department’s statutory authority to “regulate the practice of representatives of persons before the Department of the Treasury” does not extend to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). With an ever increasing rise in tax fraud, H&R Block believes this is a blow to honest taxpayers. In a country where all 50 states regulate hair dressers, it is stunning that tax preparers, with extensive access to the personal financial history and identities of their clients, are not required to meet minimum competency standards.

“It is outrageous that all consumers don’t enjoy basic protections with such a significant financial transaction as tax preparation. Something is out of whack when you are better protected when getting your haircut than when sitting across the desk from a tax preparer. All consumers should have access to the protection that our clients receive when working with our highly trained tax professionals,” stated Bill Cobb, president and CEO.

H&R Block has long supported efforts to better serve and protect consumers through minimum standards for, and oversight of all tax return preparers. Clients and those seeking tax preparation assistance this tax season should be assured that H&R Block already trains and has continuing education requirements for all of its preparers.

We look forward to working with Congress and the Department of the Treasury on any legislation that may be necessary to implement minimum tax preparer standards as a formidable tool in the fight against fraud.

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