An IRS official repeatedly reassured an audience of tax preparers that the agency isn’t aiming to take away their livelihoods or weed out people when its new registration, testing, education and e-file requirements take effect next tax season.

Speaking at the IRS Tax Forum in New York on Thursday, David Williams, the IRS’s director of electronic tax administration and refundable credits, said the first requirement for practitioners will be getting a preparer tax identification number, or PTIN, before they sign their first return next tax season. That’s the only thing preparers will need for next filing season, though some of the other requirements will start to kick in a little later, specifically in June when the testing requirement starts (see IRS Plans Tax Preparer IDs and Testing).

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