notacrybaby, please think this through. The costs are not that great. What, $116 for the test and $63 for the PTIN is only $179. If you work for Block, CPEs cost $20. So for about $200 you can do what you do. I'm sure you make a whole lot more than that during tax season. If you don't work for Block, the CPEs will cost a lot more, but I'm sure you've been paying for them anyway because you need to keep up to date with the changes. Most professionals (Drs, nurses, CPAs, even hairdressers) have licensing fees. They pay them so they can make money. Why should tax pros be any different? You'll still make money, just $200 less. If as many people leave the business as you think, you'll be in demand and make more. You're worth it.
This mentality reminds me of people who have medical insurance. If the insurance doesn't cover something, they just don't have it done or go to that specialist. It's like they get used to insurance covering everything so if it isn't "free" (or nearly so with minimal copays) they don't do it, even if they could afford it or really need it. (Think dental or mental health care, where insurance isn't likely to cover much of the bill so people just don't go.)
Connie's remarks about 10-year preparers failing the exam more than once scared me. It shows why this test is necessary. Those people should not be doing taxes.
And doontoothers, you post exudes your test anxiety. What if I hit traffic or have to go the bathroom or can't find a parking place? You're more worried about the test taking than you are about the content. Do yourself a favor. Stay overnight in the city where the test is given, and don't drink too much coffee that AM so the bathroom thing won't be such a worry. Several people I know did just these things for the EA exam when it used to be held in hotel conference centers. It cost something but was worth it to them to alleviate those type of anxieties. You know your stuff and you'll do fine.
wishfulthinking, that is fine for you and many experienced preparers. $200 may seem trivial. What about the newbie that gets lousy hours and is let go after the first peak? He gets maybe 120 hours working 20 hours a week for 6 weeks at $9 an hour. It costs him $200 to make $1080. Where are new preparers going to come from under this scenario? In addition to nearly three months of unpaid training he works for less than minimum wage. Everyone is assessing this whole thing in terms of their own situation. But there is enormous turnover every year in the industry. Something is going to have to change.
I agree with you 100%. Anyone who enjoys their job should be taking the test. Compared to other professions our costs are minimal. I don't normally like to use management type arguments, but...... if you charged $1 more.... or found 1 new customer.....
Maybe people are ready to retire and this is the last straw. OK. But for everyone else thee). is no excuse. Some of these online study courses GUARANTEE that you will pass the test or your money back. (PLEASE I am not endorsing these, but they must be thinking the test is easy). More analogies--Have you gone to the doctor lately? They are all computerized. Just another cost of doing business. Perhaps some retired rather than spend, but most are still here.