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Considering the number of incompetent people who hang out a tax preparer shingle, I think someone ought to regulate them. And some states already do. Also, firms like H&R Block require preparers to take training and, I assume, pass some kind of test before they can work for them.
Yes, but H&R Block is still in the RAL business (Refund Anticipation Loans, at loan-shark rates) the last I knew. And I understand the tax preparer and the branch manager get a piece of the action on those.

The marketing euphemism in the business for these is "bank products", when you see it in the promotional materials they pitch to accountants and other tax preparers. In fact the TRIAL VERSION of Turbo Tax Pro comes with the standard lending agreement, which makes you an authorized lender for the State Bank of Santa Barbara, right in the box.

If they would outlaw those things, they'd clean up a lot of the shadier characters in the business. Think your tax preparer is being objective, when he can try to sell himself a piece of your refund?

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