[IMGCAP(1)]So here’s the story:

In 2011 the Internal Revenue Service instituted a mandatory registration and licensing program for all tax return preparers. All preparers were required to register with the IRS and receive a Preparer Tax Identification Number by the end of 2011, and preparers who were not an Enrolled Agent, Certified Public Accountant, or attorney, or a “supervised” employee thereof, were required to maintain a minimum of 15 hours of continuing professional education in federal taxation -- which would include two hours of ethics and three hours of tax updates -- provided by IRS-approved sources each year beginning with 2012, and become a Registered Tax Return Preparer by taking a competency test by the end of 2013.

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