Some data to explain why the IRS would like oversight of unenrolled preparers. Those who are not CPAs, attorneys, enrolled agents, enrolled actuaries, etc. They prepared 53% of all 2018 Form 1040s.
That figure increases to 76% when you count only 1040s with Schedule EIC claiming the earned income credit. And IRS’s annual filing-season program for unenrolled preparers is anemic. Only about 60,000 people received a certificate of completion for the program in 2019.
Stay away from “ghost” preparers; those who charge their clients fees for tax preparation services, but don’t sign the return.
I met with a banker a few years past, who bragged he would purchase a single copy of TurboTax each year. Then proceeded to prepare 50 returns for cash with the program. He considered it a side business. When I asked if he declared the income, he laughed at me. When I asked how he was keeping up with the tax laws he laughed again, he said everything is build into the program…
Sniffing out problem preparers is not an easy task for IRS, so the agency is urging taxpayers to report these people. Taxpayers who believe they are victims of preparer misconduct can file Form 14157.