Many folks don’t realize the level of training currently NOT required for tax preparers at the big chain tax preparation firms. Apparently the IRS is starting to think about what to do about the problem:
The Internal Revenue Service plans to regulate the nation’s tax-preparation firms, including H&R Block Inc., Jackson Hewitt Inc. and mom-and-pop shops.
The IRS said Monday it will require tax preparers to pay registration fees, pass an exam and complete 15 hours of education a year.
CPAs and attorneys are exempt from the rules; they already have stringent testing requirements for their licenses as well as heavy continuing education requirements — for example, CPAs must complete at least 40 hours per year in continuing education. At our firm, each CPA routinely completes at least 32 hours of coursework per year in taxation subjects.
Before you select a tax preparer, consider whether they are trained, licensed to practice before the IRS, and experienced at helping all kinds of taxpayers with the complexities of the tax code.