Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Law Headaches for Tax Accountants / in the Long Run

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Law Headaches for Tax Accountants / in the Long Run

Article excerpt

tax overhaul plan before Congress: ""We call it the Accountants and Lawyers Retirement Act of 1986.''

Leonard Linsky, who prepares income tax returns for low and moderate income clients in Boston, takes a dimmer view of the proposal.

""I figure we'll probably lose about 25 percent of all the returns we do,'' he says. ""It will cost the business $4,000 to $5,000.''

Just as the law would affect taxpayers differently, so would its impact vary on the divergent industry that prepares 44 percent of the 99.6 million personal tax returns filed last year.

The new law would mean more work and higher fees for certified public accountants who will shepherd monied clients through the dizzying variety of changes in depreciation allowances and capital gains tax schedules.

But the law, which may eventually eliminate the need to file returns for 30 million Americans, would likely hurt storefront accountants and seasonal tax preparers.

For the next few years, however, those in the field expect more taxpayers to seek professional help to explain the new rules of the tax game.

And they can expect to pay for that help.

Linsky plans to raise the price of his service from $65 to $75 to pay for the additional work the tax forms will involve. Those with more complex finances can expect even higher costs.

""There are going to be quite a number of more hours involved in preparing someone's taxes and that's going to increase our business,'' said Gerry Padwe, national director of tax practice for the Washington accounting firm Touche Ross.

The immediate problem for tax preparers is to keep up with the changes being considered by Congress. …

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