Do I have to complete continuing education credits (CPE) if I have taken and passed the test for a registered tax return preparer (RTRP)?
The IRS continuing education and testing requirements for Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRPs) are subject to a permanent injunction effective January 18, 2013, per a federal district court ruling. In accordance with this order, continuing education is not currently mandatory for tax return preparers who have the Registered Tax Return Preparer designation or who were planning to obtain this designation.
Thus, the option to proceed with registering or participating in a CE program is now voluntary. The ruling does not apply to CPAs, Enrolled Agents and tax attorneys, who were exempt from the RTRP regime as they are already regulated under Circular 230 requirements.
See the IRS Statement on Court Ruling Related to Return Preparers.
Note: The court ruling does not affect the requirement for all paid tax return preparers to obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). See the online IRS Tax Professional PTIN System.
IRS offers a voluntary filing season training program at present. See Annual Filing Season Program. More information is available on the IRS website for Tax Professionals.