FAQs: Continuing Education Accrediting Organizations
1. What is a qualifying accrediting organization? (posted 12/6/11)
An IRS continuing education accrediting organization is an organization that has been designated to approve individuals and entities as continuing education providers under Circular 230 Section 10.9(a)(1)(iii).
Interested organizations must apply for the designation and must meet the standards and requirements set forth in section 4 of Revenue Procedure 2012-12. Organizations that offer continuing education commercially cannot become an IRS CE accrediting organization.
At this time, the only IRS approved accrediting organization is the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Inc. (NASBA).
2. My organization is interested in becoming an IRS continuing education accrediting organization. What information will we need to provide? (posted 12/6/11)
Section 4.04 of Revenue Procedure 2012-12 sets forth the minimum information required from organizations applying to become an IRS continuing education accrediting organization. According to that provision, applicants must provide the following:
- Full name, mailing address, telephone number, and web address (URL) of the organization;
- Tax Identification Number of the organization;
- Name and contact information of the organization’s point of contact, including mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
- Description of the requirements an individual or entity must meet to obtain the organization’s approval as a CE provider. Supporting documentation must be attached;
- Description of the organization’s experience and qualifications evaluating CE providers;
- Description of the process the organization uses to review applications it receives from CE providers and to ensure that CE providers will comply with the standards set forth in Circular 230 and other standards prescribed by the IRS in other appropriate guidance. Supporting documentation must be attached;
- Statement that the organization will not directly or indirectly offer continuing education in federal tax matters or ethics commercially during any period that the organization is operating as an IRS CE accrediting organization;
- Statement that the organization agrees to comply with all IRS guidance and requirements, including Circular 230;
- Statement that the organization acknowledges that its status as an IRS accrediting organization is subject to review at any time by the IRS, including but not limited to, IRS requests for information about the organization’s review and approval process, interviews and site visitations (including site visitations of the organization’s approved CE providers). Statement must also acknowledge that the organization’s failure to provide any data or information requested by the IRS or its denial of an IRS site visitation may result in suspension or revocation of its accrediting organization status; and
- A signed and dated statement by the organizations point of contact or an officer, partner, member or owner of the organization providing that the individual has examined and read the application and all accompanying information and to the best of the individual’s knowledge and belief, the information provided is true, correct, and complete. The statement must be made under penalties of perjury and acknowledge that any false or misleading information may result in criminal penalties and/or the denial or termination of the organization’s status as an accrediting organization.
Review the application process (pdf).
3. How does my organization apply to become an IRS approved accrediting organization? (posted 12/6/11)
Section 4.03 of Revenue Procedure 2012-12 describes the process for applying to become an IRS CE accrediting organization. Review the application process (pdf).
4. What is the fee to become an accrediting organization? (posted 12/6/11)
Currently, there is no fee to become an IRS CE accrediting organization.
5. When will I know and how will I find out whether my organization’s application has been approved? (posted 12/6/11)
Applicants to become an accrediting organization should receive a response 3 to 4 weeks after the IRS receives all application materials. Applicants will be notified in writing whether the application has been approved. The writing will be sent by either regular mail or e-mail to the Point of Contact (POC) listed in the organization’s submission materials. Only after an applicant has received written approval may the accrediting organization begin accepting applications from individuals or entities seeking to become a continuing education provider under section 10.9(a)(1)(iii) of Circular 230.
Approved IRS CE accrediting organizations will be listed on www.IRS.gov/taxpros/ce.
6. Once my organization is approved by the IRS as an accrediting organization, how often will we need to renew our status? (posted 12/6/11)
The renewal period is every three years. See Revenue Procedure 2012-12 § 4.03. If your organization obtains its status as an accrediting organization in 2011 to start offering approvals in 2012, you must renew your status between July and September of 2014 to continue as an IRS continuing education accrediting organization in 2015.