State Board Report

January 2012

Everyone who is required to take the Internal Revenue Service’s Registered Tax Return Preparer competency exam is also required to complete 15 hours annually of continuing education, including three hours of federal tax law updates, two hours of ethics and 10 hours of other federal tax law. The IRS has announced that, at this time, “the only IRS approved CE accrediting organization” is the NASBA National Registry of CPE Sponsors. Programs for return preparers are also acceptable if they are: provided by accredited educational institutions; recognized for continuing education purposes by a state licensing body; or provided by a professional body recognized by the IRS as a provider of continuing education on subject matters designed for registered tax return preparers, enrolled agents or enrolled retirement plan agents.

Even those preparers who have a provisional PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number), but do not pass the preparer’s test until December 31, 2013, must have 15 hours of CE during calendar year 2012, and then 15 hours for each subsequent year. These IRS education requirements do not cover attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled individuals, certain supervised preparers and individuals who do not prepare Form 1040 series returns. NASBA estimates that more than 400,000 registered tax return preparers will need to meet the CE requirements set by the IRS.

NASBA President Ken L. Bishop said that NASBA was proud to have the National Registry of CPE Sponsors be the first to be recognized by the IRS as a qualified accrediting organization.

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