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A taxpayer confidentiality provision strongly supported by the accounting profession is included in the IRS reform bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

Under the bill, the client confidentiality privilege would be expanded to tax advice from all individuals authorized to practice before the IRS. Currently, only attorneys have that privilege. The language was added to the bill as a result of a push to increase taxpayers' confidentiality protection.

If the new provision is included in the Senate's version of the IRS restructuring bill and eventually signed into law, proponents feel the public will have greater options from a wide range of tax advisors to represent them in Tax Court disputes with the IRS, without the fear of not having confidentiality protection.

The AICPA strongly supports the provision and will lobby for similar language in the Senate bill. However, the accounting profession will clearly face opposition from lobbyists for the legal profession since attorneys do not want to lose their unique status and competitive advantage. Watch for developments in future issues of The CPA Journal. *

The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

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