Tax Preparer Pro Bono

Discussion in 'Tax' started by Dannie, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. Dannie

    Dannie Guest

    Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    know the correct name.

    I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    friends I know.

    I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.

    QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    the tax return with the data supplied to me?

    If so, what is suggested that I could do to absolve any
    responsibility on my part?

    TIA
    Dannie

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Dannie, Jan 16, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. > Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    > know the correct name.


    Welcome Dannie, you will love this group, we are all here
    for each other.

    > I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    > try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    > to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    > Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    > friends I know.
    >
    > I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >
    > QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    > IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    > return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    > the tax return with the data supplied to me?


    Depends on how good of a friend they are. Seriously, our
    clients are the final authority on what is sent in to the
    IRS. However, if one would get stinky about something, they
    could try and go back on you. This is more of a legal
    question than anything else.

    > If so, what is suggested that I could do to absolve any
    > responsibility on my part?


    Document, document, document.

    Helen, EA in PA

    Director, NAEA; Immediate Past President, PSEA; Tax Expert, AOL
    Enrolled Agents - THE Tax Professionals

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Helen P. OPlanick EA, Jan 18, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Dannie

    Guest

    Dannie wrote:

    > Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    > know the correct name.
    >
    > I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    > try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    > to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    > Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    > friends I know.
    >
    > I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >
    > QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    > IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    > return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    > the tax return with the data supplied to me?
    >
    > If so, what is suggested that I could do to absolve any
    > responsibility on my part?


    join Tax-Aide--as long as you stay within "scope,"
    AARP insurance will protect you.

    The IRS would not penalize you for any mistakes you
    generated if you were not compensated for preparing the
    return, but you could still be open to civil suits.

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    , Jan 18, 2005
    #3
  4. Dannie

    A.G. Kalman Guest

    Dannie wrote:

    > Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    > know the correct name.
    >
    > I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    > try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    > to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    > Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    > friends I know.
    >
    > I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >
    > QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    > IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    > return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    > the tax return with the data supplied to me?
    >
    > If so, what is suggested that I could do to absolve any
    > responsibility on my part?


    Not an attorney... but....
    As you are not charging for preparing the form and you do
    not sign the form, it is the taxpayer that is liable. The
    IRS will look to the taxpayer for any deficiency. The
    taxpayer always has the option to take you to court.

    I recommend that you volunteer with either the IRS TCE
    program in your geographic area. As I have a bias to AARP,
    try the AARP Taxaide program (under contract from the IRS).
    As a trained volunteer you have no liability. See the
    following link to locate an AARP Taxaide site:

    http://www.aarp.org/money/taxaide/

    --
    Alan
    http://taxtopics.net

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    A.G. Kalman, Jan 18, 2005
    #4
  5. Dannie wrote:

    > Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    > know the correct name.
    >
    > I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    > try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    > to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    > Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    > friends I know.
    >
    > I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >
    > QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    > IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    > return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    > the tax return with the data supplied to me?


    You bear no burden whatsoever, as long as you do it for free.

    ChEAr$,
    Harlan Lunsford, EA n LA
    Sun, 16 Jan 2005

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Harlan Lunsford, Jan 18, 2005
    #5
  6. Dannie

    TaxSrv Guest

    "Dannie" wrote:

    > I do not charge to prepare a return....
    > QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be
    > false by IRS, since only the person I did return for
    > SIGNS the return, am I under any cloud for having
    > preformed creating the tax return with the data
    > supplied to me?


    I don't think you meant "false," as that would be a crime,
    whether you signed it or not. :) But if you're not a
    paid preparer, then the preparer penalty for certain kinds
    of understatements doesn't apply. This penalty is not as
    easy as it sounds for IRS to apply anyway, even if you were
    compensated.

    Fred F.

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    TaxSrv, Jan 18, 2005
    #6
  7. Dannie

    rick++ Guest

    The person filing for the tax is responsible for the correct
    tax payment. The IRS would only come after you if
    deliberate fraud were the case, not arithmetic errors.
    However, the filer can sue whenever and whomever they want.
    Having them sign a disclaimer for unintentional error can
    help alleviate this, but not fully eliminate it.

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    rick++, Jan 18, 2005
    #7
  8. Helen P. OPlanick EA wrote:
    > Dannie wrote:


    >> I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    >> try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    >> to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    >> Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    >> friends I know.
    >>
    >> I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >>
    >> QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    >> IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    >> return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    >> the tax return with the data supplied to me?


    > Depends on how good of a friend they are. Seriously, our
    > clients are the final authority on what is sent in to the
    > IRS. However, if one would get stinky about something, they
    > could try and go back on you. This is more of a legal
    > question than anything else.



    Maybe a little clarification is in order. When Helen says
    that "our clients are final authority on what is sent in to
    the IRS, what she means is the client is the one who signs
    the return. As paid preparers, however, we are on the hook
    for interpreting the law correctly, and when we sign the
    return, we vouch that it's correct and letter perfect as far
    as we know.

    She was not saying that any client can overrule our
    interpretation of the law, for if we know that any client's
    interpretation or desires as to what goes onto the return,
    we simply do not do the return.

    If the client mails it in, of course he is the final
    arbiter of what goes to the IRS.

    is that clear? I hope.

    ChEAr$,
    Harlan Lunsford, EA n LA
    Mon 17 Jan 2005

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Harlan Lunsford, Jan 18, 2005
    #8
  9. Dannie

    Vic Dura Guest

    >> Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    >> know the correct name.


    > Welcome Dannie, you will love this group, we are all here
    > for each other.


    >> I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    >> try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    >> to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    >> Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    >> friends I know.
    >>
    >> I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >>
    >> QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    >> IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    >> return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    >> the tax return with the data supplied to me?


    I am in a very similar situation. I was never a tax-pro, but
    I have been a volunteer tax preparer for several years
    through the IRS TCE/VITA program. I no longer wish to be
    associated with the IRS program, so I now provide free tax
    assistance on my own through the local library. My personal
    rules are:

    1) I don't sign the return.

    2) I keep a copy of the return as I prepared it. This is
    mainly so I can import data for the next year's return or
    provide assistance to the TP if he looses his return or
    needs to amend it. It also provides me with a record of what
    I provided the TP vis-a-vis what was filed with the IRS.

    3) If I run into something that is too complex for my level
    of experience, I refer the TP to a tax-pro. This happened to
    me once when a TP had a Sch-C new small business start-up
    and the auto/vehicle use was a mess. I did the rest of the
    return but referred him to a pro for the schedule-c.

    4) I don't prepare the return at all if the is anything that
    I see that is seriously wrong, incorrect, or inconsistent. I
    have never run into this problem, but if I do I know how I
    will handle it.

    --
    To reply to me directly, remove the XXX characters from my
    email address.

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Vic Dura, Jan 18, 2005
    #9
  10. >>> Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    >>> know the correct name.


    >> Welcome Dannie, you will love this group, we are all here
    >> for each other.


    >>> I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    >>> try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    >>> to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    >>> Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    >>> friends I know.
    >>>
    >>> I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >>>
    >>> QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    >>> IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    >>> return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    >>> the tax return with the data supplied to me?


    > I am in a very similar situation. I was never a tax-pro, but
    > I have been a volunteer tax preparer for several years
    > through the IRS TCE/VITA program. I no longer wish to be
    > associated with the IRS program, so I now provide free tax
    > assistance on my own through the local library. My personal
    > rules are:
    >
    > 1) I don't sign the return.
    >
    > 2) I keep a copy of the return as I prepared it. This is
    > mainly so I can import data for the next year's return or
    > provide assistance to the TP if he looses his return or
    > needs to amend it. It also provides me with a record of what
    > I provided the TP vis-a-vis what was filed with the IRS.
    >
    > 3) If I run into something that is too complex for my level
    > of experience, I refer the TP to a tax-pro. This happened to
    > me once when a TP had a Sch-C new small business start-up
    > and the auto/vehicle use was a mess. I did the rest of the
    > return but referred him to a pro for the schedule-c.
    >
    > 4) I don't prepare the return at all if the is anything that
    > I see that is seriously wrong, incorrect, or inconsistent. I
    > have never run into this problem, but if I do I know how I
    > will handle it.


    Although I do a great deal of work, pro bono, as a paid
    preparer, I have always signed all of my returns. I do
    this, whether or not I charge a fee. Often I don't know
    whether or not I will be paid and the signature block is
    already printed on the return. There are times, if I
    remember, or know in advance, that it is pro bono work, I
    print "Pro Bono" in the signature block.

    "Jack" - John H. Fisher -
    Philadelphia, Pa - Atlantic City, NJ - West Wildwood, NJ
    My Newsgroups & Boards at: http://members.aol.com/TaxService/index.html

    Where Ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise!=:)

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    John H. Fisher, Jan 19, 2005
    #10
  11. Dannie

    MTW Guest

    Vic Dura wrote:

    > 2) I keep a copy of the return as I prepared it. This is
    > mainly so I can import data for the next year's return or
    > provide assistance to the TP if he looses his return or
    > needs to amend it. It also provides me with a record of what
    > I provided the TP vis-a-vis what was filed with the IRS.


    But I wonder about that. Since you are not a paid preparer,
    and you are not operating under the "protection" afforded to
    volunteer preparers associated with the IRS, what right do
    you have to retain ANY information? I'm not being critical
    here, I'm simply raising the question because I'm not sure
    how your situation should be handled.

    MTW

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    MTW, Jan 19, 2005
    #11
  12. Dannie

    Dannie Guest

    >>> Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    >>> know the correct name.


    >> Welcome Dannie, you will love this group, we are all here
    >> for each other.


    >>> I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    >>> try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    >>> to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    >>> Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    >>> friends I know.
    >>>
    >>> I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >>>
    >>> QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    >>> IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    >>> return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    >>> the tax return with the data supplied to me?


    > I am in a very similar situation. I was never a tax-pro, but
    > I have been a volunteer tax preparer for several years
    > through the IRS TCE/VITA program. I no longer wish to be
    > associated with the IRS program, so I now provide free tax
    > assistance on my own through the local library. My personal
    > rules are:
    >
    > 1) I don't sign the return.
    >
    > 2) I keep a copy of the return as I prepared it. This is
    > mainly so I can import data for the next year's return or
    > provide assistance to the TP if he looses his return or
    > needs to amend it. It also provides me with a record of what
    > I provided the TP vis-a-vis what was filed with the IRS.
    >
    > 3) If I run into something that is too complex for my level
    > of experience, I refer the TP to a tax-pro. This happened to
    > me once when a TP had a Sch-C new small business start-up
    > and the auto/vehicle use was a mess. I did the rest of the
    > return but referred him to a pro for the schedule-c.
    >
    > 4) I don't prepare the return at all if the is anything that
    > I see that is seriously wrong, incorrect, or inconsistent. I
    > have never run into this problem, but if I do I know how I
    > will handle it.


    Thanks Vic. Sounds like good advice. I also have been
    requesting from TP a copy of last years federal and state
    tax returns. For many older taxpayers there is not much
    change from year to year and if their is, well it might
    point to an overlooked deduction/income. Dannie


    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Dannie, Jan 19, 2005
    #12
  13. >> Not sure if this is correct group and if not please let me
    >> know the correct name.


    > Welcome Dannie, you will love this group, we are all here
    > for each other.


    >> I am retired, been trained by HR Block many years ago and
    >> try to keep up with preparing tax returns. I do not charge
    >> to prepare a return and of course do not sign under "Paid
    >> Preparer's Use Only" . I do returns for mainly seniors and
    >> friends I know.
    >>
    >> I have used Turbo Tax and Tax Act, presently using Tax Act.
    >>
    >> QUESTION.. Should a return I do be proven to be false by
    >> IRS, since only the person I did return for SIGNS the
    >> return, am I under any cloud for having preformed creating
    >> the tax return with the data supplied to me?


    I teach the VITA and AARP/TaxAide tax instructors/counselors
    courses in central Ohio but I don't have the book in front
    of me.

    Basically there is a federal law, around the late 1990s,
    that protects volunteers who were certified to do their
    volunteer preparation by a federal agency like the IRS or
    its designate, from neglience etc. The kicker is you have
    to be certified, which I am, and my student instructors are
    and the tax counselors are. So when we do pro bono tax prep
    we are protected against lawsuits by statute. You are not
    certified (it's an annual thing) so you are not protected
    by this law.

    __
    Art Kamlet ArtKamlet @ AOL.com Columbus OH K2PZH

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Arthur Kamlet, Jan 19, 2005
    #13
  14. Dannie

    Vic Dura Guest

    "MTW" <> wrote:
    > Vic Dura wrote:


    >> 2) I keep a copy of the return as I prepared it. This is
    >> mainly so I can import data for the next year's return or
    >> provide assistance to the TP if he looses his return or
    >> needs to amend it. It also provides me with a record of what
    >> I provided the TP vis-a-vis what was filed with the IRS.


    > But I wonder about that. Since you are not a paid preparer,
    > and you are not operating under the "protection" afforded to
    > volunteer preparers associated with the IRS, what right do
    > you have to retain ANY information? I'm not being critical
    > here, I'm simply raising the question because I'm not sure
    > how your situation should be handled.


    Good question and I thought about it but don't have an
    answer. Since I don't sign the returns, the main reason I
    keep the files is in case the TP wants to amend during the
    year. I didn't mention it in the original post that you
    quote, but this is a small town (900 people) and I often see
    these TPs in the library throughout the year. I'm often
    there reading and they often ask a question about the return
    or a refund. I've only had one case where I had to do a
    1040X and I was glad I had the file. They know I keep the
    file because I tell them when they "..come back next
    year.." I'll be able to import the previous years relevant
    data.

    I don't ask them to sign an acknowledgement about retaining
    the data but since maintaining the data doesn't make me
    privy to anything that I wasn't already privy to, I don't
    worry about it. These folks are my neighbors, nobody else
    sees the files and they are password protected.

    The TPs that I help are mostly very limited-income folks
    that haven't a clue about how to fill out a simple return.
    If I didn't help them, it would probably cost them $50 to
    get the return done. That's a lot of money to these folks
    and they are grateful to be able to avoid the cost and I am
    gratified to be of some small service to them.

    It's an interesting question and no doubt I can be faulted,
    but in our society if you don't do something because you
    _may_ be faulted, there's just not much you will ever do.

    --
    To reply to me directly, remove the XXX characters from my
    email address.

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Vic Dura, Jan 21, 2005
    #14
  15. Dannie

    MTW Guest

    Vic Dura wrote:

    > I don't ask them to sign an acknowledgement about retaining
    > the data but since maintaining the data doesn't make me
    > privy to anything that I wasn't already privy to, I don't
    > worry about it. These folks are my neighbors, nobody else
    > sees the files and they are password protected.


    Nevertheless, I would guess that you need to furnish your
    "clients" with an FTC-style privacy policy statement and
    offer them an opt-out with respect to record retention.

    MTW

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    MTW, Jan 24, 2005
    #15
  16. MTW wrote:
    > Vic Dura wrote:


    >> I don't ask them to sign an acknowledgement about retaining
    >> the data but since maintaining the data doesn't make me
    >> privy to anything that I wasn't already privy to, I don't
    >> worry about it. These folks are my neighbors, nobody else
    >> sees the files and they are password protected.


    > Nevertheless, I would guess that you need to furnish your
    > "clients" with an FTC-style privacy policy statement and
    > offer them an opt-out with respect to record retention.


    Doubt it, Mike. Graham-Bleach-Lively (somethinglikethat)
    applies for paid preparers is my understanding. And since no
    "consideration" changed hands, FTC rules don't apply in my
    opinion. Maybe some legal beagle will/can weight in on
    this ?

    ChEAr$,
    Harlan Lunsford
    Monday, 24 Jan 2005

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Harlan Lunsford, Jan 25, 2005
    #16
  17. Dannie

    MTW Guest

    Harlan Lunsford wrote:

    > Doubt it, Mike. Graham-Bleach-Lively (somethinglikethat)
    > applies for paid preparers is my understanding. And since no
    > "consideration" changed hands, FTC rules don't apply in my
    > opinion.


    I can't find anything in Gramm-Leach-Bliley or related
    regulations that explicitly limits its applicability to
    PAID preparers. Are you suggesting, for example, that all
    of those companies offering "free" prep/efiling services
    are not required to comply with the FTC regulations?

    > Maybe some legal beagle will/can weight in on
    > this ?


    I hope so, too. I would especially like to hear an
    assessment of the liability an individual might face if he
    has possession (without explicit permission) of confidential
    tax data belonging to others and receives a subpoena for
    same.

    (Imagine this scenario: One of your pro bono clients owes
    back alimony or child support to a former spouse. Former
    spouse gets wind of the fact that you have been preparing
    returns for people around town and has her attorney slap you
    with an enforceable subpoena seeking disclosure of any
    related financial information in your possession. Client
    shows up at your place with a pitch fork in hand and says,
    "Dude, I never authorized you to keep any data of mine!")

    MTW

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    MTW, Jan 26, 2005
    #17
  18. MTW wrote:
    > Harlan Lunsford wrote:


    >> Doubt it, Mike. Graham-Bleach-Lively (somethinglikethat)
    >> applies for paid preparers is my understanding. And since no
    >> "consideration" changed hands, FTC rules don't apply in my
    >> opinion.


    > I can't find anything in Gramm-Leach-Bliley or related
    > regulations that explicitly limits its applicability to
    > PAID preparers. Are you suggesting, for example, that all
    > of those companies offering "free" prep/efiling services
    > are not required to comply with the FTC regulations?


    >> Maybe some legal beagle will/can weight in on
    >> this ?


    > I hope so, too.


    I've never studied this. But my understanding has been
    that, if you charge for doing a return you are required to
    sign it, but if you don't charge, you are not. But that's
    all I know about this, if that's even accurate.

    Stu

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Stuart Bronstein, Jan 26, 2005
    #18
  19. Dannie

    Dannie Guest

    "MTW" <> wrote:
    > Harlan Lunsford wrote:


    >> Doubt it, Mike. Graham-Bleach-Lively (somethinglikethat)
    >> applies for paid preparers is my understanding. And since no
    >> "consideration" changed hands, FTC rules don't apply in my
    >> opinion.


    > I can't find anything in Gramm-Leach-Bliley or related
    > regulations that explicitly limits its applicability to
    > PAID preparers. Are you suggesting, for example, that all
    > of those companies offering "free" prep/efiling services
    > are not required to comply with the FTC regulations?


    >> Maybe some legal beagle will/can weight in on
    >> this ?


    > I hope so, too. I would especially like to hear an
    > assessment of the liability an individual might face if he
    > has possession (without explicit permission) of confidential
    > tax data belonging to others and receives a subpoena for
    > same.
    >
    > (Imagine this scenario: One of your pro bono clients owes
    > back alimony or child support to a former spouse. Former
    > spouse gets wind of the fact that you have been preparing
    > returns for people around town and has her attorney slap you
    > with an enforceable subpoena seeking disclosure of any
    > related financial information in your possession. Client
    > shows up at your place with a pitch fork in hand and says,
    > "Dude, I never authorized you to keep any data of mine!")


    One reason why I tell all people I do returns for (and don't
    charge) that I am keeping no copy of any of their paperwork.
    I do make a copy for them and it is up to them to bring me a
    copy of last years returns before I attempt to do the new
    year. This is a pain and I have done 1040x's but it means
    reentering the data from the paper 1040.

    Dannie

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Dannie, Jan 26, 2005
    #19
  20. MTW wrote:
    > Harlan Lunsford wrote:


    >> Doubt it, Mike. Graham-Bleach-Lively (somethinglikethat)
    >> applies for paid preparers is my understanding. And since no
    >> "consideration" changed hands, FTC rules don't apply in my
    >> opinion.


    > I can't find anything in Gramm-Leach-Bliley or related
    > regulations that explicitly limits its applicability to
    > PAID preparers. Are you suggesting, for example, that all
    > of those companies offering "free" prep/efiling services
    > are not required to comply with the FTC regulations?


    Maybe nothing that limits its applicability, but do you find
    anything that explicitly says it applies to transactions
    without consideration? I think that is the crux of the
    matter, and without consideration, it ain't "trade".

    >> Maybe some legal beagle will/can weight in on
    >> this ?


    > I hope so, too. I would especially like to hear an
    > assessment of the liability an individual might face if he
    > has possession (without explicit permission) of confidential
    > tax data belonging to others and receives a subpoena for
    > same.
    >
    > (Imagine this scenario: One of your pro bono clients owes
    > back alimony or child support to a former spouse. Former
    > spouse gets wind of the fact that you have been preparing
    > returns for people around town and has her attorney slap you
    > with an enforceable subpoena seeking disclosure of any
    > related financial information in your possession. Client
    > shows up at your place with a pitch fork in hand and says,
    > "Dude, I never authorized you to keep any data of mine!")


    Can't imagine anyone calling me "Dude.!" (grin In fact I
    can't imagine having a pro bono client even. Only time I
    have had was year before last for two reservists called to
    active duty. Their returns were "no charge', however I did
    as custom, sign them.

    From a precis published by the FTC:

    "The Financial Privacy Rule governs the collection and
    disclosure of customers' personal financial information by
    financial institutions. It also applies to companies,
    whether or not they are financial institutions, who receive
    such information."

    see: http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/glbact/

    So, my take on it all, is that if trade is involve, meaning
    a business transaction with consideration given by the
    "purchaser", or "user", then it applies.

    ChEAr$,
    Harlan Lunsford, EA n LA
    Wed 26 Jan 2005

    << ------------------------------------------------->>
    << The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting >>
    << messages to this newsgroup are at www.asktax.org >>
    << ------------------------------------------------->>
     
    Harlan Lunsford, Jan 27, 2005
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Guest
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    408
    L. T. Portella
    Apr 27, 2004
  2. lobscouse

    Tax Preparer Letter

    lobscouse, Aug 31, 2004, in forum: Accounting
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    992
    lobscouse
    Aug 31, 2004
  3. mmb
    Replies:
    21
    Views:
    1,153
    Ed Durall
    Dec 26, 2003
  4. Jennifer Mc
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    438
    Harlan Lunsford
    Mar 2, 2004
  5. Daisy

    pro bono laywers in kansas

    Daisy, Jan 11, 2006, in forum: Bankruptcy
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    175
Loading...

Share This Page