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Indeed, the District’s program seems extremely lax.

“To volunteer as a tax preparer, you should have relevant experience, which includes preparing your own returns, preparing returns for others, or working with numbers. However, preparers do not need to have significant individual income tax preparation experience since all preparers will be trained by the Campaign and complete the IRS certification process before the tax season begins in late January,” according to the DC EITC Campaign website.

Training included using a commercial tax-preparation software program called Taxwise and passing a test for IRS certification.

Wiz, bam, boom — a tax specialist is born.

But you know better. And so does Congress. And the White House.

And, most important of all, the IRS knows better.

An anti-poverty tool from its very beginning, the EITC was supposed to simply reward poor people for working and encourage welfare recipients to become employed. Ronald Reagan and other conservatives re-embraced it in the 1990s, Congress revisited it at the turn of this century and Mr. Obama has left his presidential imprimatur on more than one occasion.The earned tax credit is a necessary thing. But $13 billion worth of foul-ups over 10 years means lots of families and individuals who deserve the federal and state money back guarantees are losing out because of tax cheats.

In recent days, as Obamacare bumps along, the president has promised he is whipping the responsible agency, the Department of Human and Human Services, into shape.

Some folks hope he does, others just want Obamacare to die a horrible death.

The IRS is different. There is not one family, one individual, one business, one nation in the world that the tentacles of the IRS cannot reach. Let’s see if Mr. Obama is truly eager to whip the IRS into shape.

If he’s not, the Senate and the House ought to give it a beat down.

IRS officials need to go before the cameras and explain to underprivileged and hardworking Americans alike how the IRS plans to stop the tax cheats.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at