In the wake of studies that found that tax returns filed by paid preparers can be riddled with mistakes, the Internal Revenue Service is clamping down on the industry. Up to now, paid tax preparers in the vast majority of states were free to hold themselves out as experts without any training whatsoever. Nor did they have to prove any minimum level of competency.
First up, beginning next month, the IRS is rolling out competency tests for hundreds of thousands of tax preparers nationwide. Next year, continuing education requirements – 15 hours worth per year – kick in. » Read more..