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Jan 4, 2010 1:15 PM by Associated Press

IRS to start regulating paid tax preparers

The Internal Revenue Service plans to start regulating paid tax preparers, requiring them to register with the government, pass competency tests and adhere to ethical standards.

The new regulations, announced Monday, will not be in effect for the current filing season - individual tax returns are due April 15. But IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said tax preparers will be held to higher standards in future years as the IRS steps up its oversight.

More than 80 percent of taxpayers use a paid tax preparer or tax software to complete their yearly returns. However, paid tax preparers are unregulated in many states, unless they are also attorneys, certified public accountants or enrolled agents who represent taxpayers before the IRS.

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