The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation has unveiled its fall 2012 exam schedule for accountants, tax preparers and students looking to earn the Accredited Tax Advisor, Accredited Retirement Advisor or Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor credentials.

The exam can be taken between November 24 and December 15 at PSI/LaserGrade test sites.

The ATA is a national credential for tax practitioners who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the existing Tax Code and the preparation of tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues, including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics. The exam has 100 multiple-choice questions that test sophisticated tax planning issues, including planning for owners of closely held businesses, planning for the highly compensated, choosing qualified retirement plans and performing estate tax planning. A blueprint for the ATA exam, with information on topic areas, is on the ACAT site.

The ARA is a national credential for tax practitioners who have a thorough knowledge of topics relevant to retirement planning and special issues of senior citizens including tax planning and tax preparation for decedents, estates, and trusts; and applying your knowledge and skills in real-life situations when serving aging clients. The exam also has 100 multiple-choice questions.

The ABA exam is divided into two 100-question multiple-choice sections to each be completed in 3.5 hours: “Practice 1” covers accounting and financial statement preparation, presentation and reporting; and “Practice 2” covers taxation, business law, business accounting and ethics.

The fee for both Practice 1 and Practice 2 of the ABA exam is $285 or $200 for just one Practice of the exam, plus a $50 registration fee. The ATA and ARA exam fees are $200 plus a $50 registration fee. For more information about the exam and ACAT credentials, visit the ACAT site or call (888) 289-7763.

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