What is a Tax Preparer?
The Internal Revenue services defines a "tax return preparer" as "an individual who, for compensation, prepares all or substantially all of a federal tax return or claim for refund.
The Maryland Board of Individual Tax Preparers Internal requires registered tax preparers to complete, upon renewal (every two years), at least 16 hours of continuing education. The regulations for CPE have been adopted and can be found at COMAR 09.38.02. Four of the 16 hours must be in Maryland state tax-related subjects. Maryland law says that the individual must complete the 16-hour requirement every two years, as a condition of renewal, Section 21-309(a) of Title 16, Business Occupations and Professions, Annotated Code of Maryland. Therefore, the two-year time period would run from the date of registration.The following is a link to the CPE Audit Checklist, which can be used to keep a record and a running total of CPE hours. Upon renewal, the "total hours earned" should equal at least 16. If asked by the Board to submit proof of CPE hours, this Checklist should be certified with your signature and submitted with course documentation. For further information in regards to the CPE requirements Click Here.
Continuing Professional Education Audit Checklist
What are the recent changes to become a Tax Preparer?
The IRS requires all paid tax preparers to sign up with the IRS, pay a registration fee and obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). All tax preparers will need to renew an existing PTIN annually. Enrolled Agents have separate requirements Click Here to learn more. Please note, residents of California and Oregon will also need to complete a state registered tax preparation course approved by their respective state.
Only certain individuals who prepare the Form 1040 series are required to take the test. Attorneys, Certified Public Accounts and Enrolled Agents (EAs) are exempt from testing and continuing education because of their more stringent professional testing and education requirements. Also exempt are supervised employees of attorneys, CPAs, attorneys or EAs who prepare but do not sign and are not required to sign the Form 1040 series returns they prepare and individuals who prepare federal returns other than the Form 1040 series.
What is the difference between an Enrolled Agent and a Tax Return Preparer?
They may only represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare and they cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collection issues even if they did prepare the return in question.
How do I become a California Registered Tax Return Preparer?
To become a Tax Preparer in California and Oregon you must follow the state guidelines as well as the Internal Revenue guidelines. The state of California requires all paid Tax Preparers to take and pass a California Registered Tax Preparer 60 hour Qualifying Tax Course as well as
Once you do this you will become a California Registered Tax Preparer CTRP. In addition, you will be required to complete 20 hours of continuing professional education annually.
Platinum is approved by the California Tax Educational Council CTEC to offer the CTEC California approved 60 hour Qualifying Course.as well as CTEC approved Continuing Professional Education Courses.
How do I become a Oregon Licensed Tax Return Preparer?
The State of Oregon requires that individuals that prepare tax returns for compensation obtain a Tax Preparer License. The Tax Preparer License enables a person to lawfully prepare personal income tax returns in the State of Oregon. A tax preparer must work under the supervision of a Licensed Tax Consultant, a Certified Public Accountant, a Public Accountant, or an Attorney who prepares tax returns for their clients.
The state of Oregon requires all paid Tax Preparers to complete an Oregon 80 hour Basic tax course and pass an exam (administered by Oregon Board of Tax Practioners).
In order to become an Oregon Licensed Tax Preparer you must:
Licensees are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours continuing education as a prerequisite to renewing their license each year.
Platinum is approved by the Oregon State Board of Tax Practioners (OBTP) to offer both Oregon Basic 80 hour Basic Tax Course as well as Oregon approved Continuing Professional Education Courses.
How do I become a Oregon Licensed Tax Consultant?
Once a Tax Preparer meets certain additional requirements, he or she can then choose to become a licensed Tax Consultant. A licensed Tax Consultant enables a person to lawfully prepare personal income tax returns in the State of Oregon for a fee as a self-employed or independent tax practitioner
To become a Licensed Tax Consultant if presently a Licensed Tax Preparer, the Preparer must submit evidence that he/she has actively worked in the capacity of a licensed tax preparer for a minimum of 1100 hours during at least two of the last five years. The tax preparer must have a Verification of Work Experience form completed by their employer(s) and shall submit it with the Consultant Examination Application and required fees.
Applicants must have completed, within one year prior to submitting application, a minimum of 15 hours of acceptable continuing education (courses are offered by Platinum Professional Services). You must pass the tax consultant examination administered by the Tax Board with a 75% pass rate or higher.
How do I become an IRS Annual Filing Season Program Qualified Tax Return Preparer?
The Internal Revenue services requires an individual to possess a valid PTIN. Please refer to the How to Become an IRS Annual Filing Season Program Qualified Tax Return Preparer page for further details.
How do I keep my registration current?
The IRS will require tax preparer continuing professional education of 15 hours per year to further your tax preparer training for all paid Tax Return Preparers (except Attorneys, CPA's, Enrolled Agents). The IRS will require the 15 hours to include three hours of federal tax law updates, two hours of tax preparers ethics and 10 hours of federal tax law topics. Platinum Tax School is offering 15 hour IRS Continuing Professional Education CPE courses in all 50 states. Once you complete our IRS Continuing Professional Education Tax Course you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Platinum will then report your completion to the IRS electronically.
The California Tax Education Council (CTEC) requires that you complete 20 hours of continuing professional tax education CPE by October 31st of each year. Once you complete our CTEC Continuing Professional Education Tax Course you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Platinum will report your completion to CTEC electronically. You will then be able to register online at www.ctec.org. The fee is $25.00 to register with CTEC. Additionally, CRTPs who do not renew their registration by January 15 of every year will have to re-take the 60-hour qualifying education course, pass a competency exam from an approved education provider and register as a new CRTP. The new policy will shorten the grace period from 12 months to 10 weeks.
The Oregon Tax Practioners Board (OTPB) requires that you complete 30 hours of continuing professional tax education CPE by September 30th of each year. Renewal applications are due no later than October 15th (postmark date). OTPB gives you a grace period of two weeks, during which time you do not have to pay the $35.00 reactivation fee (late fee). On the renewal application, you will self-attest that you have met the annual education requirement.
Platinum's Income Tax School has combined the IRS continuing professional education CPE requirements with Maryland's, CTEC's (California) or OTPB (Oregon) CPE requirements so you can meet all your tax education needs in one income tax class.