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IRS Commissioner Calls for Legislative Crackdown on Accountants and Lawyers

IRS Commissioner Mark Everson recently commented that Congress could aid the administration’s crackdown on improper tax avoidance schemes by raising the penalties levied on accountants and lawyers who promote them, CQToday reported. Everson said such penalties should be raised for accountants and lawyers who fail to register their products and disclose the identities of companies and individuals to whom they sell them. The avoidance schemes typically represent attempts by tax professionals to use existing provisions in the tax code to reduce the amount of tax paid.

Corporate tax bills moving through the House and Senate (H.R. 2896, S. 1637) attempt to curb tax avoidance. The largest of those provisions, currently in the Senate bill, would effectively ban complex leasing transactions in which financial institutions avoid billions in taxes by taking depreciation deduction for public infrastructures, such as city subway systems. Everson said another important area in which Congress could aid IRS in tax compliance would be to simplify the tax code.

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