CPAs are currently exempt from having to prove basic tax competence by taking the IRS exam and are exempt from having to remain current in tax knowledge by taking at least 15 hours per year of CPE in federal taxation. Yet the IRS says it is ok for CPAs to prepare tax returns - while the rest of us must go through the hoops. There is no good reason for exempting CPAs who want to prepare 1040s for a fee from these requirements.
Many EAs, who are also exempt, and for good reason, from the RTRP test, are actually sitting for it so that they can add the initials RTRP to their name. This is because of the widespread public confusion about what an EA is. If a CPA wants to be held out as a tax expert he/she should sit for the exam, maintain 15 hours per year in federal taxation CPE, and get the RTRP credential.