[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:
338,127 - Preparers with provisional PTINs who have not yet passed the
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)
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.
- posted 7 years ago