The Registered Tax Return Preparer
A registered tax preparer meets all of the following qualifications:
1. Any paid return preparer should have a valid PTIN, which they renew annually.
2. Unless the preparer is already a CPA or EA (which have their own testing requirements), the preparer must pass a 120-question competency test by December 31, 2013.
3. The preparer must also complete 15 hours of IRS-approved continuing education courses every year. 3 of those hours go to tax law changes and 2 hours go to ethics.
4. The preparer must now meet the ethical requirements that CPAs, EAs, and attorneys adhere to, including being compliant to the IRS.
By 2014, only registered tax return preparers will be able to charge for tax return preparation.