Tax Preparers Can't Use the Term RTRP until Passing The Exam

In Notice 2011-45, the IRS warns tax preparers that representing themselves as Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRP) before passing the competency examination is misrepresentation and is subject to Circular 230 sanctions. This is true even though the preparer was issued a PTIN. The PTINs that have been issued to unlicensed preparers to date are “provisional” until such time as the preparer actually passes the competency examination, and the term “RTRP” applies only to those who have successfully passed the exam. Since the competency exams are not even available as of this writing, no one has the authority to refer to him or herself as an RTRP. The competency examinations are expected to be available by this fall.

  • 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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