IRS reaches out on preparer ID numbers

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“The vast majority of federal tax return preparers complied with the rules. Obviously, some preparers did not get the word, so these letters provide additional information so they can register as soon as possible,” Doug Shulman, the IRS commissioner, said in a statement. “We owe it to the compliant tax preparers to make sure that everyone is on a level playing field.”

The IRS initiative will also require preparers to pass competency tests, and, starting in 2012, to take 15 hours of continuing education credits a year. The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration declared in a report released in February that the IRS needed to move more quickly to implement its oversight program.