Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to become an IRS-approved Continuing Education Provider and the requirements

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The Internal Revenue Service today announced the standards to become an IRS-approved Continuing Education (CE) Provider and the requirements to become an IRS CE Accrediting organization.  The guidance paves the way for the implementation of new CE requirements for certain tax return preparers starting next year.

Individuals who are required to take the Registered Tax Return Preparer competency test before the end of 2013 must begin completing continuing education courses in 2012. The 15-hour annual requirement consists of 10 hours of federal tax law topics, three hours of tax law updates and two hours of ethics and/or professional conduct. 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.

Any organization that wants to become an accrediting organization can immediately submit the required documentation outlined in section 4 of Revenue Procedure 2012-12 to the address provided in the revenue procedure. Once approved, any accrediting organizations will be publicized by the IRS and must renew their status as accrediting organization with the IRS every three years.