Credentials

What’s an EA?  How is it different from a CPA?

We are all familiar with the CPA designation; however, don’t discount the value of  other business credentials.  Your company has a multitude of needs, and you want to be sure that you are partnering with the right professional to meet those needs.

With the amount of information that exists in our society today, it is rare or impossible to find one professional skilled in all areas of business.  We find that it takes a team of professionals who can each share their expertise with you.

The EA exam is three parts tax, one part accounting and ethics

The CPA exam is three parts accounting, one part tax and ethics.

 

What is an RTRP exactly?

Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP)

If you prepare Forms 1040 for compensation, you must follow recently enacted requirements for federal tax return preparers. Most individuals must become Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRP) under these new rules (unless you are an attorney, certified public accountant, or enrolled agent, or in some cases supervised by an attorney, certified public accountant, or enrolled agent).

Limited Practice Rights: RTRPs have the right to prepare and sign tax returns and claims for a refund. RTRPs also may represent clients before the IRS during audits of tax returns they prepare. RTRPs must follow the rules established in Treasury Department Circular 230.

The IRS is currently phasing in new rules requiring tax return preparers to pass the new RTRP competency test. Existing tax return preparers generally have until December 31, 2013, to pass the new test and to officially become an RTRP.

**RTRPs have passed an IRS test establishing minimal competency.  The test covers only individual income tax returns (Form 1040).  They must adhere to ethical standards. They must also complete 15 hours of continuing education each year. RTRPs have limited practice rights before the IRS, which means they can represent clients in only certain circumstances.