At a recent American Bar Association Section of Taxation meeting in Washington D.C., IRS officials provided a bit more detail on the upcoming PTIN registration, testing, and tax compliance checks that will soon be required by all paid tax return preparers. Here is what we know to date:
• All paid preparers will be required to register and obtain a PTIN by January 1, 2011, or they cannot prepare returns for compensation.
• The online registration system is on track to begin September 1, 2010.
• All preparers who register by January 1, 2011, will have three years to pass the competency exam.
• The exams are scheduled to become available in May 2011.
• Once testing has begun, preparers will not be issued a PTIN until they have passed one of two exams.
• Once paid preparers register, they will be subject to the 15-hour per year continuing education requirement. The IRS plans to base the completion of the required continuing education on the preparer’s registration anniversary date as opposed to a calendar year for everyone.
The IRS has still not disclosed the amount of the user fees required to register or take the exam. They have, however, indicated that they are trying to figure out a way to net the cost with the enrolled agent renewal fee so EAs are not paying twice.