The regulation that Congress can't seem to pass - tax preparer licensing - is back in the news. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman has announced that by the end of 2009 his office will propose recommendations to better "leverage" tax practitioners. The idea to increase tax compliance and ethical standards. Possibly to include preparer licensing. Nothing new there. Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, has been recommending licensing for years now. In fact, there have been bills before the last 3 Congresses which would require licensing. They have all died when that Congress ended because there were other more pressing issues distracting lawmakers. Even before Mr. Shulman office releases their recommendations, I would not be surprised if a new licensing bill is introduced. There is considerable interest in tax preparer regulation. Why? Because there are people who are preparing returns that are incorrect and costing the government millions is missing revenue. Some mistakes are mistakes of knowledge some are fraud. A good licensing program should cut both types of mistakes down. But what is good licensing regulation?