IRS clamps down on tax preparers

With the April 15 tax filing deadline looming, the Internal Revenue Service announced its 5,000 examinations of questionable tax preparers have yielded 56 indictments, 25 convictions and 21 civil injunctions since Jan. 1.

The IRS worked with the Justice Department on these cases. 

"We are working to help ensure taxpayer receive competent and ethical service from qualified tax professionals," IRS Doug Shulman said in prepared remarks. "Our efforts this tax season are part of a longer-term effort to improve the oversight of this critical part of the tax system."

In January, Shulman proposed new registration, testing and continuing education requirements for tax practitioners to ensure they remain current on changing regulations and comply with the agency's ethical standards. 

Over 80 percent of American households use a tax preparer or tax software when filing their tax forms.