The Internal Revenue Service has selected Prometric Inc. as the vendor to administer a new competency examination and fingerprinting program for certain paid tax return preparers.

The IRS has also selected Daon Trusted Identity Services as a vendor to offer fingerprinting services.

The testing and suitability checks are two components of the second phase of increased IRS oversight of federal tax return preparers, as outlined in the Return Preparer Review issued on Jan. 4, 2010. Mandatory registration and issuance of Preparer Tax Identification Numbers was the first phase, which began in Sept. 2010.

The testing vendor will administer the testing program. The vendor will be responsible for conducting a job analysis using subject matter experts from both the IRS and preparer community to ascertain the capabilities and necessary knowledge for return preparers. Once a test plan is approved, the IRS will make test specifications available to assist individuals in preparation for the examination.  The IRS said it would have final approval of all test questions.

The IRS said the fingerprinting vendor will assist the agency in evaluating the background and suitability of certain PTIN applicants, but the IRS will make all determinations regarding suitability issues.

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