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Last week I reported on Impact Alabama’s undercover investigation regarding the improper preparation of tax returns by storefront tax preparers and urged consumers and lawyers to be on the lookout for improper tax returns and the trouble they cause.

Today Senator Quinton Ross (D -Montgomery), Senator Jabo Waggoner (R-Jefferson), Representative Tammy Irons (D-Lauderdale), Representative Cam Ward (R-Shelby) and a bipartisan coalition of Alabama legislators announced the introduction of the Alabama Taxpayer Protection and Assistance Act, which will provide for testing and licensing of commercial tax preparers in the state to help ensure they are competent and ethical.

The announcement referenced University of Alabama students working with the University of Alabama’s Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility who conducted research and helped draft the needed reforms. It also discussed the college students from more than ten campuses statewide who worked through Impact Alabama to raise awareness and gain support from the Legislature and Governor.

We need to congratulate those young people and the legislators for moving this to an arena where the people of Alabama will be able to confidently hire tax preparers.There are many other areas where Alabamians need the support of our legislature. Why don’t we have an Elder Abuse statute like other states? Why are Alabamians who want to buy a car forced to sign arbitration agreements? Why are pay day loan groups allowed to charge such exorbitant interest rates? Why do we have such a regressive tax system which affects our poor more adversely than any other part of our population?

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