The IRS has approved NASBA and the National Registry of CPE Sponsors as a “qualified accrediting organization,” which means that all Registry members are qualified as continuing education providers for the IRS Registered Tax Return Preparer Program. The approval came just as tax season was getting underway and many Registry members haven’t had time to pursue enrolling in the program. To do so, sponsors only need to complete an abbreviated registration process with the IRS (with a 24-hour estimated approval time) in order to obtain a continuing education provider number, rather than completing the full application approval process.
The IRS is encouraging qualified sponsors to register with them to help meet the need created as over 350,000 Registered Tax Return Preparers seek 15 hours of continuing education in tax and ethics each year. As of May 2012, the IRS had about 250 providers registered. That means that this market of 350,000 people who will need continuing education remains largely untapped.
National Registry sponsors interested in providing continuing education to Registered Tax Return Preparers, Enrolled Agents and Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents should review the standards and procedures established by the IRS to become familiar with the program. The IRS application is available online, and National Registry sponsors will need to submit:
- each program
- program description
- number of hours
- audience for program
- program delivery method (self-study, in person, on-line group)