What does the average taxpayer think of tax preparers? According to a New York Times 2014 opinion piece, “When you hear the words ‘tax preparer,’ you may imagine a calculator-clutching accountant, carefully scrutinizing receipts beneath a green eyeshade. But the reality is that in most states nearly anyone can be a tax preparer … .”

Such opinions probably fuel a lot the public’s misconceptions of preparers. The biggest wrong ideas? “That … all preparers are licensed,” said Aaron Blau, an Enrolled Agent and CPA in Tempe, Ariz.

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