>Many tax preparers jump at the chance to assume the role of government auditor and disallow anything they possibly can for the client.<
It's called "protecting the revenue." I think that was the IRS mission statement back in the 70s, when many aging practitioners got their start. Fortunately, there are many aging clients who got their start paying taxes in the 50s and 60s, who value this attitude.
>Call me zany. I'm going to put away the probe and apply the full amount of tuition.<
Speaking of probing, and college students, there is an interesting story in, of all places, the Tuscaloosa News about college students and tax practitioners. It seems that football is not the only skill taught at the University of Alabama:
==After nearly three weeks of undercover work last January, students from the University of Alabama hoped their efforts would result in legislation regulating commercial tax preparers in the state.
That legislation died in the House of Representatives last spring, but new federal rules, announced by the IRS on Monday, will make the group’s work come to fruition on a national stage.
The UA students found that some seasonal tax preparation businesses overcharged low-income residents, persuaded them to take instant loans against future refunds at huge interest rates and even committed fraud by urging tax filers to claim dependents they did not have.
“One of our staff members delivered a report on our undercover work to the commissioner of the IRS in October, and we were incredibly excited at the news,” said Stephen Foster Black, director of the university’s Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility. “In one swoop, the IRS will be protecting literally millions of families across the country from predatory practices of many negligent and sometimes fraudulent commercial tax preparers who purposely target low-income families. . . .
Nearly 400 students worked with the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility’s Save First program, which prepared taxes for families receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit — the credit applies to families making less than $42,000 a year with children or $20,000 a year without children — but the legislative efforts were spearheaded by five students, including UA senior and Paul Bryant High School graduate Kendra Key. [Bryant was better known by his nickname, Bear.]
The students were initially disappointed that the legislation was shot down in the House, but remained hopeful their work could still have an impact, Key said. The IRS began looking at their work after an April 13 article in BusinessWeek magazine, which highlighted their undercover investigation.==