Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP)

Definition - What does Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) mean?

The Registered Tax Return Preparer, or RTRP, is a program created by the IRS to ensure that all individuals associated with the formal preparation of tax returns have a baseline level of knowledge and commitment to continuing their education. The program requires that all paid tax return professional register with the IRS each and receive a unique Preparer Tax Identification Number or PTIN. Before the PTIN is assigned, some individuals will be required to pass an exam to qualify them.

This exam, the RTRP exam, is comprised of 120 questions in a mix of multiple-choice and true or false. Candidates will be given 2 ½ hours to complete the exam and there will be a testing fee of $116. All candidates are required to sign up for the exam and then register with Prometric Inc to schedule their testing appointment. The RTRP exam will eventually be available at all Prometric centers but at this point is only offered at select location.

Please note, that while notes or outside resource materials will not be allowed, candidates will be given access to Form 1040, Form 1040 instructions and Publication 17.


Testopedia explains Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP)

One important point about the RTRP is that all successful candidates must commit to undertaking a minimum of 15 hours of relevant continuing education each year. This regulation comes into play in 2012 and is designed to be a permanent addition. All paid tax return professionals will be required to sit for the RTRP exam unless they meet one of the following requirements:
  • Candidate is a CPA or Enrolled Agent
  • Candidate does not sign tax returns as a paid preparer
  • Candidate works at a firm which is owned by a minimum of 80% by CPA’s, Enrolled Agents, or Attorneys.
  • Candidate is supervised by a CPA, Enrolled Agent or Attorney
  • Candidate does not work with the Form 1040 in any way.

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