Last week, we saw both of the Maryland Tax Preparer bills withdrawn — HB 998 and SB 513. The Maryland Tax Preparers Act was withdrawn from committees by the sponsors.

These bills would have required individual tax preparers to pass an examinations, get a license and maintain the license with continuing professional education.

We were successful in getting CPAs exempt from any of the proposed licensing and CPE requirements, and in getting a seat on the proposed State Board under the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. We still had concern that this proposal would create another class of licensed professional doing taxes, which could cause public confusion about current services provided by CPAs. Without a significant public relations budget, this type of legislation may not accomplish its intended objectives.

We are continuing to work with the consumer group, Maryland’s Comptroller and the DLLR to help find a reasonable approach that protects the low-income taxpayers and does not mislead the public about the differences betwen the proposed level of licensed tax preparer and the existing high standards of CPAs.

This one will be back next year. Stay tuned …

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