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There is no greater stressful time in the United States than the period beginning January 1 through April 15. TAX TIME!!!. Every citizen, and non-citizen, of the United States who worked for a company, an individual, or for themselves are required to file a tax return. For the 2015 tax year, the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) received in excess of 150,062,000 tax returns. Of this number, 128,653,000 were filed electronically. The average dollar amount of refunds issued was $2,935.00.

An individual can prepare and file his/her own tax return or seek the assistance of paid or non-paid tax preparers. In fact, the IRS provides free tax preparation services through IRS sponsored programs such as VITA(Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly). Paid tax preparers filed 78,279,000 tax returns. There is no requirement to use a paid tax preparer.

There are many tax preparers who are considered paid tax preparer. The Internal Revenue Service says there could be more than a million people offering tax preparation services, “Most offers sound advice”, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman (former IRS Commissioner from Mach 2008 thru November 2012 ) says, but many don't and the agency knows little about them. Many tax return preparers are unknown to the IRS although there is a requirement that every paid tax preparer signs each tax return they prepare. An effort to regulate all tax preparer was initiated by the IRS in 2011. However, a federal appeals panel stated “the U.S. Internal Revenue Service lacks authority to regulate paid tax preparers” which threw out all IRS licensing rules.