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Statements: Albuquerque Passes Landmark Taxpayer Protections

A first in New Mexico, Tax Preparer Ordinance increases transparency and improves service.

Dec. 5, 2022

Today, legislation to increase transparency and protections in tax preparation passed City Council with a unanimous vote. The ordinance ensures that consumers will now get key information about how much their tax preparation is going to cost and what qualifications their preparer has.

The ordinance is the first of its kind in New Mexico. There is very little federal or state regulation in the industry, which has led to instances of surprise fees and unsatisfactory service.

“People often don’t realize how much they’re actually paying for tax preparation until the taxes are already done, or they see the amount deducted from their refund,” said Mari Kempton, CABQ Consumer Protection Manager. “It’s a service that’s really hard to price-shop for as a consumer, and it’s also hard to tell whether you’re getting a qualified and experienced preparer. This law will really help bring some transparency in that process.”

“When folks go to a tax preparation service, they should know the costs and qualifications of their tax preparer up-front and get the most from their refunds,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “I’m grateful for the diverse set of stakeholders who came together to get this ordinance done in time for tax season, creating needed transparency and protections for taxpayers and improving service in our city.”

A tax preparers ordinance supported by the Keller Administration and City Council was originally passed in 2021, but has since been revisited following concerns from professionals in the industry. Over the past year, the Keller Administration, Councilor Pat Davis, and the Office of Consumer Protection have worked closely with consumer and industry stakeholders to create a bill that will put key protections in place and address those concerns, improving the quality of services for Albuquerque residents starting this tax season.