Regulating Tax-Preparers

by Don Boudreaux on January 20, 2010

in Nanny State, Regulation, Taxes

Some well-credentialed accountants and tax-preparers wrote today to the Wall Street Journal to support the IRS’s new regulation of their industry, asserting that such regulation is necessary to ensure that Americans’ income-tax filings are prepared properly.

Such a case for such regulation is nonsense.

With up to 40 percent of their incomes at stake each year – and knowing that the IRS is a humorless, unforgiving monster when it isn’t fed what it believes to be its annual ration – each taxpayer has strong incentives to seek out and find tax-preparers who are skilled and careful.  Surely the vast majority of persons with incomes and expenses sufficiently high to justify taking deductions other than the standard one are intelligent enough to choose their own tax-preparers without the government’s “help.”

Alas, Nanny State never sleeps – especially when she has rents to extract and distribute.

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