Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RTRP Test Validation Concluded

The Internal Revenue Service has just announced that it has begun providing test results to tax return preparers who have taken the new return preparer competency test. Those who pass the test and a tax compliance check will be given a new designation: Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP).

Testing began in November 2011 and has been in a calibration phase since that time as the IRS validated the test questions and established the passing grade. The calibration phase has now ended. The test has a total of 120-question. A perfect score is 500. Preparers must score at least 350 (70%) in order to pass the exam. The test is part of a larger IRS effort to ensure competency and professional standards in the tax preparation industry. All RTRPs must also complete 15 hours of continuing education annually.

Although preparers have nearly two years to take the test (must pass the exam by December 31, 2013), the IRS encourages them to complete the requirement as soon as they can. Preparers with a testing requirement can schedule the test by accessing their PTIN account at IRS.gov/ptin. The test can be taken at more than 260 sites for a fee of $116. However, the IRS has announced that testing will be suspended for a two-week period beginning April 1 and resume on April 16, 2012. You can find more details about the test at IRS.gov/taxpros/tests.

If you're planning to take the test, check out the Registered Tax Return Preparers Competency Examination Prep Course from Gear Up, a one-day, comprehensive instructor-led course designed to provide you with the training you will need to pass the exam. Currently available this May or June in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Oregon, and New Jersey; click to view more information or call 800.231.1860.

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