Professional Income Tax Preparer FAQ's

Professional Income Tax Preparer
How do I become a Registered Tax Return Preparer?
 Obtain a provisional Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN);
 Take and pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer Competency Test
 Pass a tax compliance suitability check (initiated on your behalf by IRS)*;
 Receive your RTRP certificate
*The IRS is considering requiring some tax return preparers to also undergo a background check. Anyone needing a
future background check will be contacted and provided instructions.
Once you become an RTRP you must:
 Renew your PTIN annually
 **Obtain 15 hours of continuing education (CE) from an IRS-approved provider annually
• 2 hours of ethics
• 3 hours of federal tax law updates
• 10 hours of other federal tax law
**As of Friday, January 18, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has
enjoined the IRS for enforcing the regulatory requirements for registered tax return preparers. In
accordance with this order, continuing education is NOT currently mandatory for tax return preparers
who have a registered tax return preparer certificate of who were planning to obtain the registered tax
return preparer designation. Program registrants must be advised that CE is not currently mandatory
and that any options to proceed with registered of participating in a program is voluntary.
 Keep your information current by updating it as needed through your online PTIN account.
What will the Professional Income Tax Preparer course offer me?
 Learn how to prepare tax returns for individuals and small businesses.
 Prepare you to take and pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer Competency Test.
 Meet your first year’s 15 hours of continuing education.
3. What subject areas are taught in this class?
70 hours of instruction for basic tax preparation.
 Return Set-up Information
 Tax Credits and Deductions
 Small Business Considerations
 Taxes and Penalties
 Ethics
30 hours of instruction is focused on preparing the student to take and pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer
Competency Test with intermediate and advanced topics in taxation that mirror the IRS Return Preparer Test
 Rules that govern practice before the US Internal Revenue Service.
 Federal and NC income taxes.
 Corporate and Partnership taxation including S Corps and LLC’s
 Tax research and planning concepts
What textbooks will be needed in class?
 Federal Income Taxation (Marvin A. Chirelstein) 8 th edition
ISBN # 978-1566625388 Estimate price $24 at
 The Tax Return Preparer’s Examination Guide
Estimate price $40
5. What practice rights do Registered Tax Return Preparers have?
Registered tax return preparers have the right to prepare and sign tax returns and claims for refund. RTRPs also may
represent clients before revenue agents, customer service representatives, or similar officers and employees of the
IRS (including the Taxpayer Advocate Service) during an examination if they signed the tax return or claim for
refund for the tax period under examination.
6. When can I use the Registered Tax Return Preparer designation?
You can use the Registered Tax Return Preparer designation when you receive the Registered Tax Return Preparer
certificate from the IRS (following completion of a tax compliance check and after achieving a passing score on the
RTRP Competency Test). Once you become a Registered Tax Return Preparer, you must display the following
disclaimer in any paid advertising involving print, television or radio, in which you represent yourself as a
Registered Tax Return Preparer:
As a Registered Tax Return Preparer, you must complete your annual continuing education requirement and renew
your PTIN annually. If you do not complete these requirements or otherwise fail to comply with Circular 230, you
may be suspended or disbarred from practice before the IRS. Individuals who have been suspended or disbarred
from practice before the IRS are precluded from using the Registered Tax Return Preparer designation.
Do I have to pass the RTRP exam more than once?
No. Passing the exam is a one-time requirement to become a Registered Tax Return Preparer.
8. What happens if I have my provisional PTIN but do not pass the RTTP exam by December 31, 2013?
The IRS will contact them proposing to deactivate their PTIN and remove them from the list of authorized preparers.
9. Is the RTRP exam offered at Durham Tech?
Durham Tech does not offer the RTRP exam. Students must go to a testing site to take exam in person.
10. What are some of the subject areas on the RTRP exam?
The RTRP test focuses on the ethical responsibilities of federal tax return preparers found in Circular 230 and on
accurate preparation of Form 1040 and related schedules and forms. The purpose of the test is to demonstrate a
minimum level of competency to prepare 1040 series returns. All efforts have been made to develop questions and
answers based on general tax rules covered in the IRS publications, forms and instructions, rather than the
exceptions found only in the Internal Revenue Code or Income Tax Regulations.