Registered Tax Return Preparer Continuing Education
The IRS has announced that it has begun providing test results to tax return preparers who have taken the new return preparer competency test. Those who pass the test will be given a new designation: Registered Tax Return Preparer.
The test is part of a larger IRS effort to ensure competency and professional standards in the tax preparation industry. All paid registered tax return preparers must obtain and annually renew a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Certain return preparers must also complete 15 hours of registered tax return preparer continuing education annually, pass the one-time competency test by Dec. 31, 2013.
Certified Public Accountants, attorneys and Enrolled Agents are exempt from the new tax return preparer continuing education and testing requirements because they already have separate requirements. Also exempt are non-signing tax preparers supervised by CPAs, attorneys or Enrolled Agents and those who do not prepare the Form 1040 series.
Preparers with a testing requirement can schedule the test by accessing their PTIN account at IRS.gov/ptin. The test can be taken at more than 260 sites and the test fee is $116.
Preparers can find more details about the test and registered tax return preparer continuing education at IRS.gov/taxpros/tests. There are helpful resources available such as a Candidate Information Bulletin, which provides a list of recommended study materials; a test demonstration; a video of what to expect on test day, and registered tax return preparer continuing education providers.