For a while, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was planning on making it a requirement for every paid tax preparer to at least pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) exams and complete continuing education on a yearly basis starting in 2014, but due to the outcome of the case, Loving v. IRS, it was found the IRS lacked the authority to enforce such requirements so they were dropped. However, today the Senate is having another hearing regarding incompetent and unethical tax preparers because the IRS wants to get some kind of minimum competency requirements in place.
In my opinion, I think minimum competency requirements are in the best interest for tax practitioners and taxpayers. Paid tax preparers who are not Enrolled Agents (like myself), Certified Public Accountants, or Attorneys currently can be paid to prepare tax returns in many states with no competency testing or continuing education. These factors often do result in unethical and incompetent tax preparers, which gives a bad name to the tax practitioner community and harms taxpayers through substantial mistakes and/or making their tax returns audit risks. In addition, taxpayers could be missing out on several legitimate tax deductions or credits due to preparer incompetency. Feel free to read more about the hearing here –