The Internal Revenue Service has approved the National Society of Accountants as a continuing education provider for tax professionals, as part of its efforts to regulate the tax preparation profession.

The IRS approval means that tax professionals can now take NSA courses to satisfy the 15 credit hours of continuing education required under the IRS’s new Registered Tax Return Preparer program. Enrolled agents must earn 72 credit hours every three years, and the NSA courses can also be taken to help meet this requirement.

“Each of these courses provides tax professionals with a critical depth of knowledge in these important areas,” said NSA executive vice president and chief operating officer John Ams in a statement. “NSA has a long history as a leading provider of education to accountants and tax professionals, and we are proud to earn approval for these courses from the IRS and look forward to a strong ongoing program of additional courses as they are approved in the future.”

The IRS-approved courses are available in three categories: federal tax, ethics, and RTRP test preparation. The courses are aimed at Registered Tax Return Preparers, Enrolled Agents, and Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents.The IRS has said that courses that prepare practitioners to take the RTRP examination can qualify as an “other Federal Tax-Related” course.

Each individual course must be approved by the IRS, and NSA has a process in place to provide approved courses on an ongoing basis. The IRS has already approved more than 20 NSA courses in both online/group and self-study formats for 2 credit hours each, including: avoiding ethical violations, IRS Collection Division representation, reducing IRS penalties, 2012 representation update, money laundering and foreign bank accounts, how to be more appealing to the IRS with appeals representation, employee vs. independent contractor employment tax issues, cancellation of debt and foreclosures, advanced examination techniques and the practitioner’s role in protecting practitioner rights, audit reconsideration, and a five-part RTRP exam review webinar series with 10 total credit hours.

More approved courses will continue to be added in this ongoing process, the NSA noted. Those interested in taking courses should check www.nsacct.org periodically and click on “Education.”

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