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Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) Test Fee Refunds – Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the IRS refunding RTRP test fees?

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the decision of the District Court in Loving v. IRS, that the IRS lacked authority to mandate competency testing for paid tax return preparers. As a result, the IRS is refunding the test fees to people who took the Registered Tax Return Preparer test.

2. I paid the fee and took the RTRP test. Do I need to take any action to claim my refund?

No action is necessary. Letter 5475, RTRP Refund Notification Letter, will be mailed approximately May 28, 2015, to people due an RTRP test refund. Refund checks will be mailed separately approximately June 2, 2015.

3. I received a Letter 5475, RTRP Refund Notification Letter, and I have not received a refund check yet. When will I receive it?

Refund checks will be mailed separately on June 2, 2015. Please allow until August 2, 2015 to receive your refund.

If after August 2, 2015, you still have not received your refund, please call the IRS number on your Letter 5475.

4. What address is the IRS using to mail checks?

Letters and checks are being mailed to the return preparer’s address in the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) system.

5. What if I took the test more than one time? Will I receive multiple refunds?

If you took the test more than once, you will receive one refund for the total test fees paid ($116 per test attempt). You will not receive a refund for any fees that were previously refunded by Prometric.

6. What about other expenses, such as continuing education, gas/travel, and hotel bills? Can I be reimbursed for those costs as well?

No, only the $116 test processing fees will be refunded.

7. Is this refund taxable to me?

Whether this amount is income depends upon a number of factors, including whether the amount was deducted previously as a business expense. See Publication 334, Chapter 5 under “Other Income-Recovery of Items Previously Deducted” for more information.

8. Can I keep my RTRP Certificate?

Yes. However the RTRP Certificate is no longer valid and serves no purpose when dealing with the IRS.

Beginning January 1, 2016, in order to have limited representation rights for clients, you will need to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program.

Anyone who passed the RTRP test only needs to meet their original 15 hour continuing education requirement each year to obtain an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion.

9. I paid the RTRP test fee for employees of my tax business. Who will receive the test fee refund?

Refunds must be issued to the person who took the test. Third parties who paid test fees will need to resolve any reimbursement issues directly with the person who took the test.

10. What is the number in the memo section on the front of the check?

The number listed on the face of the check in the memo section is a file number that is used for identifying the refund check; this number can be 2-7 digits and helps us in researching questions that refund candidates have about their check.

11. Does the IRS plan to implement another competency test program in the future?

The IRS remains committed to the principle that all persons who prepare federal tax returns for compensation should be required to pass a test of minimal competency and take annual continuing education training. Taxpayers deserve top-quality and ethical service from all tax professionals. As part of this commitment, the IRS launched an interim Annual Filing Season Program in 2014 to promote voluntary continuing education by non-credentialed tax return preparers.

The President’s 2016 budget proposal would provide the IRS with authority to regulate all paid tax return preparers. Oversight of all paid preparers, coupled with diligent enforcement, would promote high-quality services from all tax professionals, improve voluntary compliance and foster confidence in the fairness of the U.S. tax system.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-May-2015