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H.R. 3737: TEAMS Act


The text of the bill below is as of Jun 4, 2021 (Introduced).


I

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3737

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 4, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means

A BILL

To establish minimum competency standards for tax return preparers, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Tax-preparer Enforcement, Accountability, and Minimum Standards Act or the TEAMS Act.

2.

Regulation of tax return preparers

(a)

In general

Subsection (a) of section 330 of title 31, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

(1)

regulate—

(A)

the practice of representatives of persons before the Department of the Treasury; and

(B)

the practice of tax return preparers; and

; and

(2)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by inserting or a tax return preparer to prepare tax returns after practice;

(B)

by inserting or tax return preparer before demonstrate;

(C)

in subparagraph (C), by inserting and minimum competency standards after necessary qualifications; and

(D)

in subparagraph (D), by striking the period at the end and inserting or in preparing their tax returns, claims for refund, or documents in connection with tax returns or claims for refund..

(b)

Authority To sanction regulated tax return preparers

Subsection (c) of section 330 of title 31, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking before the Department;

(2)

by inserting or tax return preparer after representative each place it appears; and

(3)

in paragraph (4), by striking misleads or threatens and all that follows and inserting

misleads or threatens—

(A)

any person being represented or any prospective person being represented; or

(B)

any person or prospective person whose tax return, claim for refund, or document in connection with a tax return or claim for refund, is being or may be prepared.

.

(c)

Minimum competency standards for tax return preparers

Section 330 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(f)

Minimum competency standards for tax return preparers

(1)

In general

Any tax return preparer shall demonstrate minimum competency standards under this subsection by—

(A)

obtaining an identifying number for securing proper identification of such preparer as described in section 6109(a)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

(B)

satisfying any examination and continuing education requirements as prescribed by the Secretary, including—

(i)

holding a high school diploma or passing an equivalency exam;

(ii)

completing 30 hours of tax preparation training (or work deemed equivalent);

(iii)

passing a tax preparation exam with a score of 70 percent or greater every 5 years; and

(iv)

completing 15 hours of continuing education every 2 years; and

(C)

completing a background check administered by the Secretary which does not return any felony convictions.

(2)

Exemption

The Secretary shall exempt tax return preparers who have been subject to comparable examination, continuing education requirements, and background checks administered by the Secretary or any comparable State licensing program. Such exemption shall extend directly to individuals who are supervised by such preparers and are not required to secure an identification number under section 6109(a)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

.

(d)

Tax return preparer defined

Section 330 of title 31, United States Code, as amended by subsection (c), is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(g)

Tax return preparer

For purposes of this section—

(1)

In general

The term tax return preparer has the meaning given such term under section 7701(a)(36) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(2)

Tax return

The term tax return has the meaning given to the term return under section 6696(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(3)

Claim for refund

The term claim for refund has the meaning given such term under section 6696(e)(2) of such Code.

.

(e)

Amendments with respect to identifying number

(1)

In general

Paragraph (4) of section 6109(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows:

(4)

Furnishing identifying number of tax return preparer

(A)

In general

Any return or claim for refund prepared by a tax return preparer shall bear such identifying number for securing proper identification of such preparer, his employer, or both, as may be prescribed. For purposes of this paragraph, the terms return and claim for refund have the respective meanings given to such terms in section 6696(e).

(B)

Exception

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any tax return preparer who prepares a return or claim for refund under the supervision and direction of a tax return preparer who signs the return or claim for refund and is a certified public accountant, an attorney or enrolled agent.

.

(2)

Clarification of rescission authority

Section 6109 of such Code is amended by inserting after subsection (d) the following new subsection:

(e)

Authority To rescind identifying number of tax return preparer

(1)

In general

The Secretary may rescind an identifying number issued under subsection (a)(4) if—

(A)

after notice and opportunity for a hearing, the preparer is shown to be incompetent or disreputable (as such terms are used in subsection (c) of section 330 of title 31, United States Code), and

(B)

rescinding the identifying number would promote compliance with the requirements of this title and effective tax administration.

(2)

Records

If an identifying number is rescinded under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall place in the file in the Office of the Director of Professional Responsibility the opinion of the Secretary with respect to the determination, including—

(A)

a statement of the facts and circumstances relating to the determination, and

(B)

the reasons for the rescission.

.