I am an Oregon Licensed Tax Consultant
License # 33337-C.
Only 4 states, New York, California, Maryland and Oregon, have testing requirements for tax preparers. Oregon is the only state that requires licensing and its qualification process is by far the most stringent.
The other 46 states have NO rules for independent tax preparers. practically anyone can prepare your federal tax return and charge a fee. They are not necessarily required to meet any competency requirements or hold any type of license or certification as a tax professional. Whoa!
That means that consumers have no way of knowing how much of the current Federal Tax Code 74,608 pages (totaling over 10 million words) their local tax preparer knows. Double whoa!
Oregon requires a 2-step process to license their tax practitioners:
1-You have to pass the Oregon Licensed Tax Preparer requirements:
- have a high school degree
- complete 80 hours of classes and pass a 5-hour exam on Oregon and federal tax law.
- Apprenticeship-- They can't work alone in an office their first year and can only provide tax advice or prepare returns while supervised by a licensed tax consultant, attorney or CPA.
2-You have to pass the Oregon Licensed Tax Consultant requirements:
- Preparers can sit for this test once they've worked 1000 hours over two tax seasons under a LTC.
- “The test is much more difficult than the one for preparers, and it remains closed book. "The level of clarity that must be understood is much higher," said Gutierrez, who's also an LTC. "The specificity of the questions is so much more precise." The pass rate, as a result: 30 percent.