RTRP Continuing Professional Education Requirements
What Should I Do If I Didn't Complete My CE Requirement for 2012?
You may make up 2012 CE by taking the outstanding credits in 2013. In addition to the 15 hour requirement for 2013, you must also make up any hours not completed in 2012. Preparers, who answered the continuing education self-certification question upon PTIN renewal indicating that they had not or would not complete their CE by the end of the year, will receive a letter informing them of the 2012 requirement.
There is no need to designate the fact that hours earned in 2013 are for 2012. Be sure to keep records of the programs you attend. The IRS may ask for proof of participation for any CE you take, so we recommend keeping the following information in your records for four years:
• The name of the CE provider organization;
• The location of the program;
• The title of the program, approval number received for the program, and copy of the program content;
• Written outlines, course syllabi, textbook, and/or electronic materials provided or required for the program;
• The date(s) attended;
• The credit hours claimed;
• The name(s) of the instructor(s), discussion leader(s), or speaker(s), if appropriate; and
• The certificate of completion and/or signed statement of the hours of attendance obtained from the continuing education provider.
- Beginning in calendar year 2012, all Registered Tax Return Preparers and RTRP candidates must obtain 15 hours of continuing education annually. The programs should include two hours of ethics, three hours of federal tax law updates, and ten hours of other federal tax law. Update 1/13: The IRS has now stated that courses in Federal Tax Law Update may be used to satisfy the Federal Tax Law CE requirement if someone is short on Federal Tax Law credits.
- An RTRP candidate is any individual who has a provisional PTIN prior to 1/1/12 and who is required to pass the RTRP competency test by December 31, 2013. Even though these individuals have until 2013 to pass the test, the continuing education requirement became effective on January 1, 2012.
- Continuing education requirements for individuals who first applied for and received their provisional PTIN after January 31, 2012, will have the CPE requirement prorated for 2012. These individuals are required to complete two hours of ethics credits and one hour of CE credit regarding federal tax law for each month or portion of a month that the individual is has a provisional PTIN or is a Registered Tax return Preparer. Please note the proration rules are the same for both RTRP candidates and individuals who become RTRPs during 2012, so long as the individual applied for and received their initial PTIN after January 31 of this year. For more details, see IRS Notice 11-80.
- Preparers must obtain the courses from IRS-approved providers. To be an IRS-approved CE Provider, an organization must be one of the following:
• An accredited educational institution,
• Recognized for continuing education purposes by the licensing body of any state or U.S. territory,
• Approved by a qualifying organization as a provider of CE on subject matters designed for registered tax return preparers, enrolled agents, and enrolled retirement plan agents (such qualifying organizations will be known as accrediting organizations), or
• Any other professional organization, society or business recognized by the IRS as a provider of CE on subject matters designed for registered tax return preparers, enrolled agents, and enrolled retirement plan agents.
- Preparers do NOT need to submit their CPE certificates of completion to the IRS. IRS Approved CE Providers are responsible for submitting that information on their behalf.
- Even though preparers don’t have to submit their certificates to the IRS, per Circular 230, Registered Tax Return Preparers, Enrolled Agents, and Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents must retain their records of continuing education for four years.
The IRS will maintain full oversight of approving and reviewing providers