logistics of RTRP testing deadline

[repost, NNTP news-server delay?]
Since this is the only forum I participate in which is open to tax laypersons, I'm posting an item which potentially affects consumers of professional tax preparation services.
This has to do with the IRS deadline of year-end 2013 for all paid preparers (not otherwise covered) to pass a competency exam and become Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRP). The issue is what effect if any a drastic decrease in paid preparers would have on the tax preparation market (assuming the deadline holds, despite possible pressure from the storefront tax chains if it looks like they might have to shed massive numbers of seasonal employees).
Current data as of June 2012:
formatting link
,,id$9983,00.html 338,127 - Preparers with provisional PTINs who have not yet passed the RTRP test
According to IRS, there are 260 vendor testing centers nationwide. (5 in SF Bay Area, which is one of top 5 or 6 metro areas, AFAIK)
It takes 3 hours/test.
Almost every weekday for the next 3 months is available at my nearest center. 3 time slots available each day. Not sure how many registrants per time slot are allowed, but as I recall when I took the SEE, there were about 10 desks at the test center.
This is probably one of Prometric's bigger contracts, so I see them doing what it takes to collect their fees.
68 weeks until 2014 (total less 10 weeks for holidays, etc) 340 weekdays 260 test centers 88,400 testing days 3 time slots per center per day 265,200 total time slots 2 test takers per slot (conservative) ---------------------------------------------------- 530,400 total available
So at a moderate and steady pace, all provisional preparers could easily meet the exam requirement (or at least attempt the test) by the deadline.
However, the testing is off to a slow start, despite heavy IRS publicity.
Reply to
Mark Bole
Since this is the only forum I participate in which is open to tax laypersons, I'm posting an item which potentially affects consumers of professional tax preparation services.
This has to do with the IRS deadline of year-end 2013 for all paid preparers (not otherwise covered) to pass a competency exam and become Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRP). The issue is what effect if any a drastic decrease in paid preparers would have on the tax preparation market (assuming the deadline holds, despite possible pressure from the storefront tax chains if it looks like they might have to shed massive numbers of seasonal employees).
Current data as of June 2012:
formatting link
,,id$9983,00.html 338,127 - Preparers with provisional PTINs who have not yet passed the RTRP test
According to IRS, there are 260 vendor testing centers nationwide. (5 in SF Bay Area, which is one of top 5 or 6 metro areas, AFAIK)
It takes 3 hours/test.
Almost every weekday for the next 3 months is available at my nearest center. 3 time slots available each day. Not sure how many registrants per time slot are allowed, but as I recall when I took the SEE, there were about 10 desks at the test center.
This is probably one of Prometric's bigger contracts, so I see them doing what it takes to collect their fees.
68 weeks until 2014 (total less 10 weeks for holidays, etc) 340 weekdays 260 test centers 88,400 testing days 3 time slots per center per day 265,200 total time slots 2 test takers per slot (conservative) ---------------------------------------------------- 530,400 total available
So at a moderate and steady pace, all provisional preparers could easily meet the exam requirement (or at least attempt the test) by the deadline.
However, the testing is off to a slow start, despite heavy IRS publicity.
Reply to
Mark Bole

Don't forget dynamic behavior. People's behavior will change as a result of the impending regulation, or once it goes into effect. Things that could happen: the number of paid preparers will decrease (like people who prepare a few returns part time will not bother to renew), more testing centers could be added, they could introduce online testing (as is allowed for CA). Also, there is a lawsuit challenging the new regulation, which was evidently enacted without an act of congress.
Reply to
removeps-groups
Prometric administers many other types of exams, and from anecdotal evidence in Ohio, most of the test takers were not there for the RTRP test.
Want to start a pool on what date IRS will announce a postponment of the RTRP rules?
Reply to
Arthur Kamlet
That is why I assumed in my calculation that only 20% of available desks would be allocated to RTRP testing.
However, Prometric will surely seek to maximize revenue on this. Many of the other tests it offers, I'm guessing, don't have hard deadlines like this one, so other test takers may well get scheduled later in order to make room for RTRP's.
Let's see, H&R Block usually starts its seasonal hiring process in late summer, so if it's going to happen, I'd say sometime around Sept 2013. I don't know if this has to go through a "seeking comments" period as a Treasury regulation....
Reply to
Mark Bole

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