IRS Releases Specifications for the Tax Preparer (RTRP) Exam

Last Tuesday, September 6, 2011, the IRS released the specifications for the upcoming RTRP exam. We have it on good authority that the examination is going to be relatively easy for competent and educated practitioners and doubt that a test preparation course would be needed.

In addition, practitioners still have 2 1/3 years before they have to pass it. The exam is not ready yet, although it will be soon. Considering the start-up problems associated with the PTIN exam, it might be best to let the dust settle and wait at least until after next year's tax season before taking the exam. Let the overly eager ones be the guinea pigs for the new testing system.

When available, RTRP exam can be taken at any one of the 260 Promatic facilities nationwide. The test is expected to contain around 120 questions, including true-false and multiple choices. The test will be timed and, although the duration has not been specified, it is expected to take between 2 and 3 hours.

In addition, we have it on good authority that the test will be open book. Each test taker will be given a copy of Pub 17 to use while taking the examination.

What Does the Exam Consist Of?

  • Preliminary Work and Collection of Taxpayer Data [15%]
  • Treatment of Income and Assets [22%]
  • Deductions and Credits [22%]
  • Other Taxes [11%]
  • Completion of the Filing Process [10%]
  • Practices and Procedures [5%]
  • Ethics Circular 230 Subparts A, B, and C (excluding D, E)[15%]

Click here to download the full specification document. Those of you who are not exempt from taking this course (CPAs, EAs and JDs are exempt) may wish to download and review the document in preparation for the exam.

  • Lee Reams Sr.

  • Lee T. Reams is the Chief Technical Officer of ClientWhys. He is also an Enrolled Agent having managed a 600-plus client tax practice. Educated as an engineer, with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Lee left his engineering career in 1975 to expand his part-time tax practice into a full-time career.

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