IRS Plans to Continue Issuing Provisional PTINs

Post Date: 4/10/12
Last Updated: 4/11/12


Cross References
• IRS Frequently Asked Questions: PTIN Application/Renewal Assistance, April 4, 2012
• Notice 2011-80

Initially, the IRS planned to cease issuing provisional PTINs when the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) competency test began and to require individuals to pass the test and meet all other requirements before the issuance of a PTIN. However, the IRS previously stated that provisional PTINs would continue to be issued until at least April 18, 2012. The IRS now plans to continue issuing provisional PTINs past April 18, 2012 and will determine the future of them by December 31, 2013.

Provisional PTIN. Individuals required to take a competency exam are issued provisional PTINs until they pass the exam. Individuals with provisional PTINs must annually renew their PTIN and, beginning in 2012, satisfy the continuing education requirement. Tax return preparers who have provisional PTINs will have until December 31, 2013, to pass the competency exam.

Continuing education. Beginning in 2012, RTRPs (and provisional PTIN holders) are required to complete 15 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) courses annually to maintain their PTIN. The annual CPE requirement includes:
• 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct,
• 3 hours of federal tax law updates, and
• 10 hours of federal tax law topics.

Education requirements prorated for new RTRPs. Prior to this change, CPE requirements for individuals who initially became a registered tax return preparer after January 31 were to be prorated for the initial registration year. The CPE for these individuals included:
• 1 hour of federal tax law updates or federal tax law topics for each month or portion of a month that the individual is a registered tax return preparer.
• 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct (minimum required regardless of when an individual becomes a registered tax return preparer).
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