IRS Seeks to Start Regulating Tax Preparers
The Internal Revenue Service said Monday it will require registration and competency exams for legions of tax-return preparers that now largely escape regulation.
The changes are in response to a six-month IRS study of the tax-preparation industry, and to calls from taxpayer rights' organizations for stronger oversight of paid tax preparers.
The changes will take several years to implement and will not be in effect for the 2010 filing season, the IRS said.
All paid tax preparers will have to register with the IRS and obtain an identification number, which will be included on any returns they prepare.
Besides passing a competency test, paid preparers will also have to meet continuing education requirements.
Attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents will not be subject to the new testing or continuing education regime. They will remain subject to the requirements of their respective licensing bodies.
The Maryland Association of CPAs CPA Success went after H&R Block last January and because we're such a big mean bully, we totally jumped on the bandwagon. I mean really, do you think it might be a good idea to regulate the guys making $9 an hour processing your deductions at the Drive-Thru window of tax prep?
When in doubt, go with a CPA. Duh.
(CPA Trendlines also covered the breakup between McGladrey & Pullen and H&R Block earlier in 2009, which might have something to do with the IRS' decision. Hmmm)