As the Covid-19 pandemic set in, the federal government stepped up to provide Americans with unprecedented financial relief.
In order to access those funds, from stimulus checks to monthly child tax credit payments, most Americans had to file tax returns.
But submitting that paperwork could have put some individuals and families in a vulnerable spot, according to industry groups.
The reason: Professional tax preparers are not held to uniform standards.
More than half of all returns were completed by tax preparers in 2020, according to the National Association of Enrolled Agents. Almost two-thirds of those preparers are not regulated or required to meet basic competency standards.
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