Notes From CTEC / IRS Joint Conference for Education Providers Sacramento Ca. May 2012

The following notes are from the recent CTEC / IRS Joint Conference for Education Providers held in Sacramento California this past May 16th 2012. The speakers at the conference discussed how the new IRS education requirements will meld with CTEC existing requirements. David Williams from IRS Return Preparer Office was featured speaker – Paul Latter and Tabitha Bolkish in charge of things on the CTEC side.

Date: May 16th, 2012
Location: Sacramento, Ca.

Notes taken by Andy Frye of Pronto Income Tax of California, Inc. (

Paul Latter & Tabitha Bolkish – Chair / CTEC

David Williams – Featured Speaker – From IRS Return Preparer Office

Begin IRS Portion of Conference Notes:

David Williams – Featured Speaker – From IRS Return Preparer Office

Review of 2009 changed everything
Improve as go along – listen to preparer input
900,000 – 1.2 million in USA
PTIN program entirely funded by user fees
40 percent of PTIN holders are eas, cpas, or attorneys, other 60 percent must take IRS competency test
“minimal or basic competency”
You know your way around a tax return’ how the pieces all fit together, and you know where to go for things that you don’t know
“software” does it all? This is anti that attitude
Lot of anxiety
if you don’t pass test by end of 2013, you’re out of business
Multiple choice test is one of hardest thing
Give CE credit for test prep courses thru end of 2013
850k ptins issued since sept 2010- 715k active
3200rtrps -340k “candidates”
Do not wait to get tested
GRE tests are given at at same time as December 2013
Created a market that did not exist before – its your market if you want it
Doing “tax compliance checks” for ALL Ptin holders
OPR is final decision maker but RPO does all the admin stuff

Created system for CE similar to w-2 system
Third party verification
CE providers must collect Ptin for students and report hours to IRS
NASba is currently the only accepted accrediting body for IRS . NASba has great sample materials, etc
24 hours or less to get approved as CE provider
330 approved providers so far
178 new providers

Providers get provider number
Get the course registered with IRS
Do as many as you want but you must register each one w IRS
Put course number online in your account
Add programs as you wish
Providers receive logo

Must have user feedback form
Must issue certificate include program number
Maintain records for 4 years
Upload rosters starting in july

CE will likely be very messy first year
As of October you need to upload data within 10-15 business days
Allow people to attest w IRS that preparer has completed, and then IRS would check but verify

Test is challenge for people in remote areas
Calendar year system for CE
Ptin is license to practice for that year
IRS wants to be flexible
Some people don’t want to give Ptin to education provider

September or October Ptin online look up for people to know who is current w IRS and who’s not
Freedom of information act for Ptin database will get you the names and contact info for Ptin holders
We can get this list
Costs $35 to get the list – comes on cd w data – from foia request

Pushing ethics education more
Conforming to circular 230 regs
You are now representing the taxpayer by signing the return

Educate the public about enrolled agents
Most people think their tax preps are cpas
Allow tax law updates to be other federal tax law hours
Teaching how to use tax software is not CE

Program improvement

Gotten 4,000 tax preparer complaints in last 3 months
New IRS form

Rrtrp and SEE tests

Your Ptin is your license to practice
You have appeal rights if you are denied
Thousands have tax compliance issues

Creation of public database for Ptin holders

IRS doesn’t mess w gray area returns too much
These new initiatives are a back door way to audit returns that IRS does not have time and resources to audit those returns

Provisional ptins issued until next april
“stepping into people’s lives”
“I want everyone to pass the test”
“we have a lot of people who are not minimally competent”

Do conference call w IRS

Kill two birds w one stone ca and fed

CTEC Portion of Conference Begin Notes

Paul Latter & Tabitha Bolkish – Chair / CTEC

Don’t want conflicting requirements between fed and state

Talk about proposed changes – will need to go through board and be approved
Ctec courses to satisfy IRS reqs must be approved by BOTH IRS and ctec
“interim guidance” subject to individual policies later drafted

Four types of CE:
1 fed updates
2 other fed tax subjects
3 ethics
4 California

Approved by ctec as provider gives you fast track thru IRS system
All course #s from both ctec and IRS must appear on certificate – so a 20 hour cert would be good for both ctec and IRS hours

If IRS provider denied, ctec provider status automatically

IRS allows partial credits for live courses, ctec no

Retain certificates and student records for 4 years

Proposed that all ctec courses must either be face-to-face or interactive; webinars may qualify as face-to-face
Interactivity = feedback on incorrect answers and encouragement on correct answers
Minimum of 3 multiple choice questions per CE credit for review section of interactive course

You CAN provide answers to missed questions, but only to students who have passed the exam
Can never give complete question and answer key to any student

Minimum 5 final exam questions per CE hour; ie for two hours ethics, 10 questions minimum

Credit for 50 minute hour with no test
Review policy requirements for each type of course – self study especially
Recorded webinars can count as face to face hours so long as expert “facilitator” is available during broadcast

Up until January 15th you can renew – after that, you will have to retake 60 hour course

$55 late fee to ctec now not $15 anymore

Become a provider, then just post courses to IRS website

Register for June 5 teleconference w IRS !!
“program” = course in IRS terms