The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday that about 7,000 tax preparers in Tennessee still must take an IRS competency exam by next year or they will not be able to prepare returns.
IRS spokesman Dan Boone said 16,000 Tennessee tax preparers are registered with the agency. So far, only 54 tax preparers have passed the competency exam and been certified as a registered tax return preparer. Enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys are not required to take the exam.
"Preparers who are required to take the IRS competency exam have about 18 months left to study and pass it," Boone said.