Tax Preparer Licensing Laws

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National Licensing Laws

The courts have prevented the IRS from imposing testing and education requirements on paid tax professionals.  Although there is currently no minimum education or testing requirement to become a paid tax preparer, the IRS does require paid tax preparers to register with the IRS and obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), pay a registration fee, and pass a tax compliance check. 

Tax Preparer Identification Number (PTIN) Registration System

The IRS now requires ALL tax return preparers to apply for a PTIN using a new online registration system. This new registration system impacts ALL paid tax preparers including attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents and unenrolled tax preparers. ALL tax preparers who prepare tax returns for a fee must be registered under the new PTIN system prior to preparing any 1040 tax return for a fee.

IRS Licensing of Enrolled Agents

The IRS currently administers a licensing program for Enrolled Agents and is working on releasing recommendations for a program to license or register all tax practitioners nationwide. Enrolled Agents are regulated by Congress. To become an enrolled agent you must either:

  • Pass the Special Enrollment Examination, or
  • Present evidence of qualifying experience as an Internal Revenue Service employee, and
  • Pass a background check, which includes a review of your tax compliance history.
  • A person authorized to practice before the IRS is described as a Federally Authorized Tax Practioner (FATP). FATP status is granted to Certified Public Accountants, attorneys, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries and certain other individuals described in IRS Circular 230. Enrolled Agents and other FATPs are allowed to represent taxpayers in proceedings before the IRS including audits and appeals.

CPA Licensing

A CPA is a qualified accountant who has passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and has met additional state education and experience requirements for certification as a CPA. CPAs are licensed through individual state boards of accountancy. CPAs provide specialized accounting services including:

  • Financial audit services,
  • Attesting to the reasonableness of disclosures,
  • Adherence to the applicable generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in financial statements.

Many CPAs also specialize in income tax preparation and offer tax preparation services as primary or secondary services to their clients.

CPAs must adhere to ethical and continuing education standards set forth by state government accountancy boards.

Additional Licensing Information

Click on our IRS, California, Oregon and Maryland licensing laws pages for more information about IRS, California, Oregon and Maryland tax preparer programs.

Click on CPE Requirements for CPAs for state-by-state CPE requirements for CPAs.

Pacific Northwest Tax School is registered with the following organizations as an approved sponsor of CPE:

  • IRS #VRD3D
  • NASBA QAS #109290
  • Oregon Board of Tax Service Examiners
  • Texas State Board of Public Accountancy #009794
  • New York State Board for Public Accountancy #002479

IRS Approved

IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider

Notice to Members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents: NAEA requires its members to obtain 30 hours of CPE each year. NAEA further requires the CPE be in compliance with IRS guidelines. As an IRS approved sponsor of CPE, our programs meet CPE standards set forth by NAEA.

NASBA

Approved National Registry of CPE Sponsor

NASBA Sponsor #109290


Pacific Northwest Tax School is registered with the National Association of the State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:  www.learningmarket.org

California

California

Pacific Northwest Tax School's courses fulfill continuing education requirements for California CPAs and IRS EAs.

Notice to California CRTPs: We are not currently offering CTEC-approved courses due to recent changes in CTEC's requirements.
Click here for more information.
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OR Board of Tax Practitioners

Pacific Northwest Tax School is a licensed vocational school regulated by the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Our CPE programs are approved by the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners.

TX State Board of Public Accountancy

Texas Sponsor #009794

The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy requires CPAs obtain CPE from a Board-approved sponsor. Pacific Northwest Tax School has registered with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy as a CPE sponsor. This registration does not constitute an endorsement by the Board as to the quality of our CPE programs.

NY State Board of Public Accountancy

Sponsor License #002479

The New York State Board for Public Accountancy requires CPAs obtain CPE from a Board-approved sponsor. Pacific Northwest Tax School has registered with the New York State Board for Public Accountancy as a CPE sponsor.

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