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The Internal Revenue Service has launched the Registered Tax Return Preparer competency test. The test is part of the IRS' effort to regulate paid tax preparers. Those required to take the test have until Dec. 31, 2013 to pass it. Test scheduling begins next week.

All paid preparers must obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number. However, the exam is not required for tax attorneys, CPAs or Enrolled Agents. Those who take and pass the test and meet other requirements will receive the new Registered Tax Return Preparer designation. To maintain the designation, individuals must renew PTINs and complete 15 hours of continuing education annually.

The competency test has a $116 fee. The test covers the preparation of Form 1040 and related schedules. Initial test takers will not receive scores for two to six weeks to allow the IRS to validate the exam and determine the pass/fail cutoff. Validation is expected to be completed in mid-January and from that point on, those taking the test will receive their scores at test centers immediately upon completion.

Although Prometic will administer the test at 260 centers, it is not available at all locations. Sites will be added daily and international locations may be added.

Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
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