Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 Continuing Education Requirements Roll Over to 2013

Those Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRPs) and RTRP “candidates” who forgot to get their 15 hours of continuing education (CE) by December 31, 2012 (Oops!), or didn’t realize the requirement applied to 2012, do not get a free pass.  According to an FAQ posted on the IRS website on January 3, 2013, the IRS expects all non-exempt PTIN holders to obtain 15 hours of CE credit applicable to 2012, even if it has to be earned in 2013.  Much of the confusion stems from the fact that the CE requirement does not sync up with the competency test requirement.  While RTRP and RTRP candidates have until December 31, 2013, to pass the competency test, the CE requirement began in 2012.

Remind me again, what is a RTRP “candidate”?
This is also causing some confusion. A preparer who applies for a PTIN with the IRS but has yet to meet testing and suitability requirements is issued a provisional PTIN and is thus considered an RTRP candidate.  Like official RTRPs, an RTRP candidate must meet the continuing education requirement in 2012.

So, I messed up. What do I do now?
BEG FOR MERCY!   Well, no, not really.  The IRS has indicated that, “You must 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. There is no need to designate or notify (the IRS) that hours earned in 2013 are for 2012. Be sure to keep records of the programs you attend.”

I answered “No” to the CE requirement certification prompt on the PTIN renewal form. What happens to me?
The IRS will send you a letter advising that you are still responsible for the hours for 2012.

The Plug
If you still need to obtain your 2012 hours, or if you’d like to get a jump-start on 2013, we offer convenient webinars and online courses to help you meet the CE requirement.  For more information, visit  Your 15 hours of required CPE must include two hours of ethics, three hours of federal tax law updates, and 10 hours of other federal tax law.