Tax preparers on LinkedIn discussion groups and in response to our August 29 story on this year’s IRS tax forums have reported that the IRS has not granted proper credit for continuing education courses taken at those forums.
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A thread on the LinkedIn discussion group “Electronic Return Originators, IRS e-file” discusses how preparers who took CE at this year’s IRS tax forums in Las Vegas have received neither notification of the credits due them for the CE nor word back after contacting the IRS about their credits. Other preparers reported that they received inadequate credit for CE seminars.
Similar problems were reported on the discussion groups “Tax Business Owners of America,” where preparers also reported being shorted credits at the 2011 forum in San Jose, Calif., and at this year’s Chicago and Atlanta forums.
Preparers commenting on our story, “IRS Wraps Up Tax Forums,” also said they had not received credit for CE taken at forums in Las Vegas and San Diego earlier this year.
“I may ask for a refund or stop attending IRS forums going forward,” one preparer wrote on LinkedIn.
In response, the IRS said in a statement, “The IRS has well-established procedures to correct any errors in documentation of CPE credits. Tax Forum attendees receive proof of attendance and credits earned in about three weeks after a forum, via e-mail. Any errors in documentation can be corrected by e-mailing email@example.com.”
One EA reported receiving a response about the problem from the IRS, which requested the day, time, room and name of the CE seminar in question, as well as the instructor’s name.
“I had already given the first four in my initial e-mail and told her I did not have the names of the instructors since their names were only given in the verbal introduction at the beginning of each session. I didn't write down the instructor names for each session I attended, and I couldn't find their names on any of the printed material I downloaded from the Web site prior to the forum or on any of the printed materials in the forum bag I obtained at the beginning of the forum,” the preparer wrote on LinkedIn.
One preparer said she had received an e-mail and call from the IRS after reporting her problem, and was told that this was “a common problem” possibly caused by the hand-held scanners used at the forums, and that the IRS was “working on it.” Preparers also reported success after contacting the IRS Return Preparers Office.