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CPE - Do I Need to Register for the class?


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For the last two years, due to ERPA, I have been buying two webinars from ASPPA (primary and secondary) for myself and the other ERPA in the office.

Is this necessary? I just looked at the 8554-EP and it seems that all they want to know is the number of total credits and the total of ethics credits in each reporting year. Do I need a certificate in my own name, or, provided I don't lie (which I do not), is it enough to keep my own listing and support for the CPE I take? For example, if we pay for one web-inar, and listen together, can we both claim the CPE on the 8554? The instructions do not seem to stipulate any such requirement.

I found this in Circular 230 as part of the recordkeeping requirements, perhaps this is why it is required:

"The certificate of completion and/or signed statement of the hours of attendance obtained from the continuing education provider."

Austin Powers, CPA, QPA, ERPA

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Based on the definition of Qualifying Programs on page 13 of Circular 230, one requirement is that the CE program sponsor provide a certificate of attendance or certificate of completion. To me, that means each person has to sign up to get ERPA credit.

Is there a typo on your second post? Maybe renewal between 4/1 and 6/30 of 2013? If so, then I think you are correct that you would report your 2012 and 2011 hours, assuming initial enrollment in 2011. My renewal was in 2012 and I reported hours for 2009, 2010 and 2011. Circular 230 sets the ERPA re-enrollment application period as April 1 to June 30.

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The IRS FAQ for ERPAs says that ERPAs must retain "The certificate of completion and/or signed statement of the hours of attendance obtained from the continuing education provider" for four years, so each one of you would need to obtain a certificate of completion from ASPPA in order to claim credit.

http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/FAQs:-Enrolled-Retirement-Plan-Agent-Continuing-Education-Requirements

From the last IRS phone forum on this topic, it is my understanding that 2012 is the last year that ERPAs will be allowed to self-certify their CPE hours. Starting in 2013, there will be an online credit reporting system for ERPAs where the CPE provider reports each hour of CE earned by an ERPA directly to the IRS.

(edited to add link to the FAQ)

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