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I can understand why tax preparers fear licensing, it means that they have to prove they are at least somewhat competent. Many aren't.

Question to a relative's paid (no ex) tax preparer: Why do you believe that all of the mortgage interest is deductible?

Answer: Because the mortgage is under a million.

The preparer had access to multiple 1098s showing that there had been multiple refinances. The mortgage balance had increased by over $300,000. The preparer was completely clueless as to any limitations on mortgage interest deductions.

I was expecting that the relative's spouse had been "ignoring" the issue. I hadn't expected that level of incompetentency from a paid preparer. Normally, taxpayers would have their tax preparers help with an audit, but that implies that their tax preparer isn't the reason for the audit.
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