The IRS is launching a massive new effort to regulate paid tax return preparers. (IRS News Release IR-2010-1)
The centerpiece is a registration program designed to weed out subpar unenrolled tax return preparers. Related plans revolve around improving education, installing testing procedures and implementing various other measures.
There’s no strict timetable for the new initiatives, but the IRS generally expects to phase in the changes during the 2011 tax filing season.
One immediate impact: The IRS has started to send letters to 10,000 return preparers who’ve filed a significant number of incorrect returns. It may even visit some of these preparers posing as taxpayers needing assistance. But the IRS says that the letters and these cloak-and-dagger tactics won’t result in taxpayer audits.