Registered Tax Return Preparer*

The IRS requires all paid preparers to register with the IRS, to obtain a PTIN, and did previously require for those preparers who are not CPAs, attorneys, EAs, supervised preparers or non-1040 preparers to pass a competency exam.  This one-time competency exam and tax compliance and suitability check has been recently overturned by the Federal Circuit Court system...the IRS is currently appealing this decision.  

However, I am one of the few Tennessee tax preparers who took and passed this test certification prior to the suspension of this requirement.  Pictured on the left is the certificate which was issued by the IRS.

Note:  As of October 12, 2012, approximately 350 Tennessee paid tax return preparers have taken and passed this test (about 5%)!  

Update:  In 2013, the IRS lost round one of their court case to mandate testing and education requirements for tax preparers.  Pending the outcome of future appeals by the IRS, the certification of RTRP is not required.  However, don't trust your tax preparation to someone who is not an experienced qualified preparer.   I have dedicated myself to my profession and although it is apparently not a requirement, will continue to study and educate myself to keep current with the tax laws.  

Selecting a Tax Preparer?

As a year-round full-time professional tax preparer, I support the need for those in our industry to be fully qualified to prepare taxes.  Almost 60% of tax returns submitted to the IRS are done by a professional tax service.  

However, you should be aware of the fact many part-time preparers under the direction of a CPA are NOT required to take this new IRS test.  So if you are paying a tax service to prepare your taxes, you might want to know what their qualifications are for doing the job.  Having someone SIGN OFF on a completed tax return is NOT the same as having an expert guide you through tons of tax regulations to assure that you are paying the minimum taxes required.   

* Note:  The IRS does not endorse any particular individual tax return preparer.  For more information on tax return preparers go to