With the Stroke of a Pen: Policy Recommendations for Holding Paid Tax Preparers Accountable
States have many incentives to ensure that filers can turn to tax preparers who are reliable and accurate. In 2013, 43 states plus the District of Columbia collected over $290 billion in individual income tax revenue.1 To understand the magnitude of this figure, for the majority of states, individual income tax accounts for 23-57% of total state tax revenue.2 Given states’ dependence on income tax revenue, ensuring that all filers, especially low-income filers, have access to reputable, quality preparers is critical and requires more oversight of both the tax preparation process and paid tax preparers.
- 1. Tax Code Connections: How Changes to Federal Policy Affect State Revenue (Washington, DC: Pew Charitable Trusts, 2016), Table A1.
- 2. “Individual Income Tax as a Proportion of State Tax Revenue,” U.S. Census Bureau, April 12, 2016, https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2016/comm/qtax_infographic9.html.