Am I a Hypocrite on Preparer Regulation?

Here’s something that’s been bothering me: I oppose government regulation of tax preparers. There’s a strong argument against more government intervention. And there’s a high likelihood that the regulation would be a failure. And there’s also a strong argument that Enrolled Agents would be hurt because we’d fall further to the fringes of the tax world.

I’ve made these arguments in numerous blog posts through the years, and I was even quoted in the court brief submitted by the attorneys who brought suit against the IRS over the Registered Tax Return Preparer program.

But I feel like a hypocrite because I have, at times, criticized unlicensed preparers for my own gain.

I have, at times, implied that the unlicensed are unprofessional when compared to EAs, CPAs and attorneys.

I have, at times, made comments about unlicensed preparers, wondering why the preparer doesn’t bother to take the EA exam.

These are things I grapple with as someone who posts opinion pieces about these things and whose opinion “makes the rounds” on tax blogs.

I oppose regulation of tax preparers. But yet, I will tout my own licensing at the expense of an unlicensed preparer if the situation presents itself.