As of December 31, 2010 all tax preparers need to be registered with the IRS. How is this different than last year? Well last year, tax practitioners in California needed to be registered with CTEC and licencsed with California through continuing education. However, to file a federal tax return the preparer did not need to register with the IRS unless they requested a PTIN which can be used instead of a social security number. So it looks like the IRS is following suite with the state to make sure our tax preparers are knowledgeable and educated by 1) Having them register with the IRS every three years 2) Having them complete a competency test at least once during those three years and 3) Having them take 15 hours of continuing education each year.
You may be wondering how this will affect Nickel & Dime Bookkeeping? The effect will be negligible. Every year, I take over twenty hours of continuing tax education. I also have consistently been registered with CTEC and with the IRS. I think the new regulations around tax preparers is a smart way to protect the client and the small business owners who serve them. There are no worries when you have quality people on your side.
You can learn more here: http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/article/0,,id=221009,00.html