The ever changing landscape of tax preparer requirements by the IRS over the past several tax seasons has just about everyone scratching their heads. Federal Direct is a licensed IRS continuing education provider and will make sure you and your office is not only in the know, but in compliance also!
As of Friday January 18th, 2013 the United States District Court of Columbia has enjoined the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing the regulatory requirements for registered tax return preparers. In accordance with this order, tax return prepares covered by this program are not required to complete competency testing or secure continuing education. The ruling does not affect the regulatory practice requirements for CPAs, attorneys, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, or enrolled actuaries.
The IRS appealed this court ruling on March 29th 2013, and there is now pending legislation yet to pass Congress that would grant the IRS the authority to resume their Registered Tax Return Preparer initiative. For more information on the IRS' RTRP program and court ruling visit: www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Statement-on-Court-Ruling-Related-to-Return-Preparers.
Federal Direct is a licensed IRS Continuing Education Provider and presents real world tax content, in a live webinar format that always concludes with an interactive question and answer session covering the session topics. These educational courses are presented by our on-staff IRS Enrolled Agents who break down confusing tax topics into easy to understand, plain English scenarios. If you are unavailable to attend a live webinar; we record all webinar trainings and make them available for download and viewing approximately 24 hours after the live presentation. Continuing Education credits are also available by watching a previously recorded webinar; however, you will have to take a short quiz to confirm your comprehension of the content presented.
Our Continuing Education Resource Library Covers:
General Tax Topics
• Tax Office Due Diligence & the Earned Income Tax Credit
• Itemized vs Standard Deductions
• Amending Tax returns and working with form 1040X
• Dependents – Who they are and what tax benefits they provide
• Self Employed Taxpayers – Working with Schedule C
• Identity Theft – determine if it has occurred and what to do
• Working with Rejected Returns
• Income – Which forms are used for what and where do they go on a tax return
• Education Credits and using tuition as a Deduction
• Filing Extensions – working with form 4868
Tax Law Updates
• ITINs a general update of the process for 2013/2014
• Tax Law Updates – 2013/2014
• Tax Preparer Ethics – Understanding Circular 230
• Professional Tax Software Training
• Interview Based Software Training
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Tax Preparer Requirements:
Q Do I have to take a test or exam to be a tax preparer?
A No. Shortly before the start of the 2013 tax filing season, the IRS lost their authority to require tax preparers to take and pass the test they were calling the Registered Return Preparer Exam. The IRS is appealing this legal restriction and Federal Direct will keep you posted on any changes.
Q Do I have a required Continuing Education Requirement?
A No. As a tax preparer, you do not have a required continuing education requirement. While many tax preparers choose to take continuing education for their own betterment and to keep up on changing tax laws, it is not a requirement for being a tax preparer. Enrolled Agents and CPAs DO have an annual continuing education requirement.
Q Do different states have different requirements for being a tax preparer?
A Yes. California, Oregon, and New York all have individual state level requirements for tax preparers. If you reside and are preparing tax returns in these states please consult a Federal Direct account representative for the requirements for your state.
Q Do I have to get a PTIN (preparer’s tax identification number)?
A Yes. All tax return preparers who are compensated for preparing or assisting in the preparation of any federal tax returns must possess a valid PTIN.
Q What is the fee for obtaining a PTIN?
A $64.25 is the price to initially obtain a PTIN. PTINs must be renewed annually for $63.00.
Q Is there an age requirement to obtain a PTIN?
A Yes. You must be 18 years of age to obtain a PTIN.
Q Where can I get more information on getting an IRS issued PTIN?
A You can always contact an account rep with Federal Direct for more info and assistance with the PTIN registration process, or you can visit the IRS preparers PTIN website at: www.irs.gov/ptin.
Federal Direct also has online self-study tools for obtaining your Enrolled Agent certification or CPA.
Federal Direct partners receive discounted rates on industry leading study tools. Take practice quizzes on your smart phone or tablet. Use intelligent adaptive learning technologies to sharpen your skills and prepare for the Enrolled Agent Special Enrollment Examination or the CPA Exams!