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 Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION:  I noticed that some members use the designation Public Accountant (PA) after their name.  I didn't see any courses or exams mentioned on your website to become a PA.  Can anyone use this designation if they provide accounting services to the public?

ANSWER:  Colorado regulates licensed Certified Public Accountants Only.  Virtually anyone else can call themselves a Public Accountant.  Members of our society use the designation PA.  They also use other designations which they have earned.  We require our members to maintain Continuing Professional Education(CPE) requirements to retain their membership.


QUESTION:  I keep hearing about a PTIN.  How do I get one?  Do I have to renew it?  What about the Competency Test?  Where can I go to get more information?

ANSWER:  There are a lot of helpful resources and links available below.  In summary,

  1. Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) are required by the Internal Revenue Service for everyone preparing tax returns. If you don't have one, you must obtain one.  If you wait until after the Competency Test is available, you will to pass the test in order to get a PTIN. 
  2. If you currently have a PTIN, the renewals for the 2012 filing season start in October 2011.  You must renew your PTIN and pay the required fee, as PTINs now expire on an annual basis.  (If you got one anytime from September 2010 to the present, yours expires December 31, 2011.)
  3. If you, as a paid tax preparer, file more than ten Form 1040 series returns, then you must obtain both a PTIN and an Electronic Filing Identification number (EFIN).  All this must be done before January 1, 2012. 
  4. Here are some useful links and copies of supporting documents, from the IRS and elsewhere.  PLEASE NOTE:  All links open in new windows.
    Web Sites
    Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) Documents
    Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) Documents

    QUESTION:  What do I need to know about the Competency Test?  Who has to take it, how long do I have to take it,  and when will it be available?

    ANSWER:  If you already have a Provisional PTIN, you will have until December 31, 2013 to pass the test.  The IRS expects testing to begin in October 2011.  For more information, read the following document:  Competency Testing Requirements - Frequently Asked Questions.