730,000 tax practitioners in the country are gearing up to follow new IRS regulations for their industry. Certification is needed to practice as a paid tax preparer. And for certification you must register and pass a competency test. Some tax preparers will even need to supply their fingerprints and have their backgrounds vetted through against FBI records to check for previous criminal involvement.
All this requires cost and the IRS estimates the licensing fee will be between $250 and $275. But this could be significantly higher if you take into consideration state fees and fees imposed by large tax preparer companies like H&R Block. Some are afraid this increased cost of practicing as a tax preparer would jeopardize the livelihood of small, independent preparers, resulting in large companies like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt to grab the lion’s share of the market.
About 450,000 tax preparers who lack professional certifications as lawyers or certified public accountants, and those registered with the IRS as preparation supervisors will be badly affected. Mark Steber, chief tax officer Jackson Hewitt admitted that the fees, ”do seem large, and they are large.” However, the IRS recently said it was open to ways to reduce the costs.
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