Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson is putting new pressure on lawmakers to establish nationwide standards that would weed out bad-apple tax practitioners and serve to protect the more than 60 percent of taxpayers who rely on paid tax preparers.In bluntly worded testimony suggesting that she is losing patience with both Congress and her own agency, Olson called on the House Ways and Means Committee to move forward on proposals to rein in rogue tax preparers and protect American taxpayers from other forms of abuse.

“At present, anyone can prepare federal tax returns; there are no standards at all. Preparers should be required to pass a basic competency test and take periodic continuing professional education courses,” she told the panel. “Greater accuracy in return preparation will benefit both taxpayers and the IRS.”

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