Amy used to get the 1040 forms from the post office to file her own taxes. One day her neighbor, Becky, asked Amy if she wouldn’t mind filing her taxes as well. Amy thought Becky was a great neighbor and didn’t mind at all. Becky bragged about how helpful Amy was that the following year, Becky’s co-workers asked Amy to file their taxes in return for cash. Five years down the road, Amy rented office space in town on the corner by the street light. Her client list is well above 50 people. Now the IRS wants to tell Amy that she needs to pay them a fee and take a test in order to file other people’s taxes.
Let’s assume for a moment that the bill is passed. Let’s also assume that there is a magic number of clients assigned to this rule. Is it 50? Is it 25? Will it be 1? If Amy wants to continue to help her neighbor, will it be considered illegal?
Any individual has the right to file their own taxes. The forms can be obtained for free off the internet. Each tax payer has the right to fill out their own forms and mail them into the IRS. If the IRS goes the extra step to make sure small business tax preparers have to pay annual fees and take classes to be regulated by the IRS, how much longer until the IRS demands that individuals no longer file their own return? That Amy will now have to pay the fees to file her own return or pay a “registered agent” to do it for her? Is it a baby step or a leap?
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