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The Boston Globe

Business

IRS faces setback in regulating tax preparers

To help combat fraud by tax preparers, the Internal Revenue Service created the “Registered Tax Return Preparer” program. Then just before the tax season got underway, the agency was told by a federal judge that it doesn’t have the authority to regulate the hundreds of thousands of tax preparers covered under the program.

Although some tax-return preparers are licensed by their states or enrolled to practice before the IRS, many don’t have to pass a government or professionally mandated competency test to prepare a federal return. When the IRS issued its last “dirty dozen” tax scams, return preparer fraud was third on the list.

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