Facs

What is a Tax Preparer?


The Internal Revenue Services defines a "tax return preparer" as "an individual who, for compensation, prepares all or substantially all of a federal tax return or claim for refund".




What are the requirements to become a Tax Preparer?


The IRS requires all paid tax preparers to sign up with the IRS and obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). All tax preparers will need to renew an existing PTIN annually. Enrolled Agents have separate requirements, Click Here to learn more. Note: residents of California, Maryland, New York and Oregon will also need to complete a state registered tax preparation course approved by their respective state.




What are the fees to obtain a PTIN?


For 2021, the IRS has set a $21 fee per PTIN application or renewal (plus a $14.95 fee payable to a contractor).




What is the difference between an Enrolled Agent (EA) and an AFSP Record of Completion Holder?


An AFSP Record of Completion holder may only represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare and they cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collection issues even if they did prepare the return in question.




How do I become a Oregon Licensed Tax Return Preparer?


The State of Oregon requires that individuals that prepare tax returns for compensation obtain a Tax Preparer License. The Tax Preparer License enables a person to lawfully prepare personal income tax returns in the State of Oregon. A tax preparer must work under the supervision of a Licensed Tax Consultant, a Certified Public Accountant, a Public Accountant, or an Attorney who prepares tax returns for their clients. The state of Oregon requires all paid Tax Preparers to complete an Oregon 80 hour Basic tax course and pass an exam (administered by Oregon Board of Tax Practioners). In order to become an Oregon Licensed Tax Preparer you must:

  • Be at least 18 year of age.
  • Be high school graduate or have passed an equivalency examination.
  • Complete a minimum of 80 clock hours of basic income tax law education. Platinum Professional Services is approved by the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners (OBTP) to offer a course that meets the Oregon 80 hour Basic Tax Course requirement.
  • Pass the tax preparer examination administered by the Tax Board with a 75% pass rate or higher.
  • Receive a certificate of completion of the 80-hour basic tax course must be submitted with your license application before your license will be issued (certificate issued by Platinum Professional Services)

Licensees are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours continuing education as a prerequisite to renewing their license each year.

Platinum Professional Services is approved by the Oregon State Board of Tax Practioners (OBTP) and Higher Education Coordinating Committee (HECC license #2148) to offer both the Oregon 80 hour Basic Tax Course as well as Oregon Continuing Professional Education Courses.




How do I become a Oregon Licensed Tax Consultant?


Once a Tax Preparer meets certain additional requirements, he or she can then choose to become a licensed Tax Consultant. A licensed Tax Consultant enables a person to lawfully prepare personal income tax returns in the State of Oregon for a fee as a self-employed or independent tax practitioner.

To become a Licensed Tax Consultant if presently a Licensed Tax Preparer, the Preparer must submit evidence that he/she has actively worked in the capacity of a licensed tax preparer for a minimum of 1100 hours during at least two of the last five years. The tax preparer must have a Verification of Work Experience form completed by their employer(s) and shall submit it with the Consultant Examination Application and required fees.

Applicants must have completed, within one year prior to submitting application, a minimum of 15 hours of acceptable continuing education. You must also pass the tax consultant examination administered by the Tax Board with a 75% pass rate or higher.

Platinum Professional Services is approved by the Oregon State Board of Tax Practioners (OBTP) and Higher Education Coordinating Committee (HECC license #2148) to offer both the Oregon 80 hour Basic Tax Course as well as Oregon Continuing Professional Education Courses.




How do I become an IRS Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion Holder?


In order to participate in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) you must complete 18 or 15 IRS credit hours of continuing education. The 15 hour IRS continuing education tax course includes 10 hours of federal tax law topics, 2 hours of ethics, and 3 hours of updates and is available from January 1st - December 31st. The 18 hour IRS continuing education tax course includes 6 hours of an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course with a knowledge based comprehension test, 10 hours of federal tax law topics and 2 hours of ethics. The 18 hour IRS tax course is available each year from June 1st - December 31st. The program is directed to preparers who are not Attorneys, CPAs or Enrolled Agents. In order to determine whether to take a 15 hour or an 18 hour IRS tax course the guidelines are listed below. Tax return preparers who have successfully completed one of the following national or state tests would be exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher course with a comprehension test.

  • Passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) test before 1/18/2013
  • Oregon/California/Maryland and other state based return preparer testing programs
  • Accredited Tax preparer test offered by the Accreditation Council for Accountancy or Taxation
  • Passed Part 1 of the Special Enrollment Exam (aka: SEE and EA Exam) during the 2 year eligibility window
  • Successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program reviewers and instructors
If a credentialed tax professional (CPA, attorney, Enrolled Agent, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent, Enrolled Actuary) or the exempt group listed above wants to be a part of the Annual Filing Season Program, they must have 15 hours of continuing education from an IRS approved provider. The 15 credit hours will need to include 3 hours of federal tax updates, 10 Hours of Federal tax law topics, and 2 hours of Ethics. No CE credit will be given to Enrolled Agents for completing an AFTR course. Platinum Professional Services offers both the IRS AFSP 18 Hour including the AFTR tax course and the IRS AFSP CE 15 Hour tax course. Once you complete the IRS Continuing Professional Education tax course you will receive a Certificate of Completion from Platinum. Platinum will then report your completion to the IRS electronically. When the tax preparer has met all three requirements for the AFSP (renewed their PTIN, taken appropriate amount of continuing education, completed and passed the AFTR course/test if required), a record of completion will be available in the PTIN holder's online IRS account for printing. Any "unenrolled" preparer not already bound by Circular 230 will need to sign an agreement to follow sub-part b of Circular 230 before being able to print the record of completion from the Internal Revenue Service. There will be no cost to the preparer for the AFSP record of completion. The IRS will then list AFSP tax preparers in their public database including the tax preparer's credentials. Platinum Professional Services is approved by the Internal Revenue Service (approval #JK8E2) to offer both the IRS AFSP CE 18 Hour Tax Course including AFTR as well as IRS AFSP CE 15 Hour Tax Course. Platinum also offers an IRS AFSP Tax Return Preparer Prep Course including AFTR.




What are the benefits of participating in the AFSP program?


By participating in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program you will be included in the IRS’s public directory of tax return preparers. Additionally, as a program participant, you have limited representation rights, you can represent your clients whose returns you have prepared and signed before examination, customer service representatives, and the Taxpayer Advocate Service in the year you participate in the program.