Continuing Education for Tax Professionals

As of Friday, January 18, 2013, the U.S. District Court ruled that the IRS should not continue to enforce the regulatory requirements for registered tax return preparers. In compliance with this ruling, all tax return preparers covered by this are not required to complete continuing education courses or any competency testing. This ruling, however, does not affect the regulatory practice requirements for CPAs, attorneys, or enrolled agents, actuaries & retirement plan agents. For a better understanding of who needs what, the IRS has provided an overview of tax return preparer requirements:

Category

PTIN

Tax Compliance Check

Background Check

IRS Test

Continuing Education

Practice Rights

Enrolled Agents

Yes

Yes

Proposals Pending

Yes (Special Enrollment Exam)

72 hours every 3 years

Unlimited

Registered Tax Return Preparers

Yes

Yes

Proposals Pending

Yes (RTRP Test)

15 hours per year

Limited

CPAs

Yes

Yes

Proposals Pending

No

Varies

Unlimited

Attorneys

Yes

Yes

Proposals Pending

No

Varies

Unlimited

Supervised Preparers

Yes

Yes

Proposals Pending

No

No

Limited

Non-1040 Preparers

Yes

Yes

Proposals Pending

No

No

Limited