The Wall St. Journal reports the IRS will require the registration and testing of paid tax preparers.
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.
The new regulations do not affect lawyers, CPAs, or enrolled agents who are subject to oversight by the bodies that license them.