More and more preparers are starting to use the term “IRS Certified” to promote themselves as a reliable source for tax preparation.  But what does that mean?  If you search for “IRS Certification” at, you don’t get anything relating to tax preparers.  If you search the Internet, you do find a reference back the VITA (volunteer income tax assistance) program which is run by the IRS.So what is it?  Basically, anyone wanting to assist with the VITA program must pass the IRS tests for the program.  It’s a specific set of tests at differing levels (basic, intermediate, advanced) that follow up basic training in these preparation areas.  Volunteers can take the classes and tests at a local VITA training site, such as a college or library sponsoring the program, or take the classes and tests online at External Link.  So is April IRS Certified?  Most definitely by this definition.  I not only participated in VITA before I began my business, but I continued for many years after I began working on my own and even facilitated some of the classes and tests at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  Now that I own my own practice and do not test through VITA, I use similar testing available through my software provider, Drake Software, that is very similar to these tests but probably takes them further since the typical VITA site does not handle all kinds of returns.I hope this helps to clear the air with regards to new terminology that is popping up and gives you a better idea of how to distinguish between preparers when you are trying to make an informed decision.