Continuing education (CE) providers wishing to provide CE to enrolled agents and enrolled retirement plan agents must be approved by the IRS. Upon approval, the provider will obtain a Provider Number.
In addition, each program (course) offered by the provider must be submitted to the IRS and assigned an approved Program Number. You may not offer programs until you receive your program number.
You can obtain both numbers by following these steps:
- Review the Revenue Procedure (pdf) and Standards for Becoming an Approved CE Provider (Revised 07/30/15) to ensure your organization and your programs meet IRS standards for approval.
- Gather your information before filling out the application.
- Apply online or submit Form 8498.
- Pay the annual fee (Currently $565). NOTE: this fee is nonrefundable.
Upon approval you will receive:
- A single provider number that is associated with your organization. The provider number will be the first five digits in each of your program numbers.
- A program number for each program (course).
- A welcome letter that lists the numbers and explains your obligations as a provider.
- A logo that you can use to indicate that you are an “IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider."
- Instructions for reporting attendance to the IRS.
- Your organization’s name, web address and phone number listed on the IRS CE Provider Public Listing, if requested.
After you are approved and have received program numbers, you must do the following:
(as outlined in Revenue Procedure 2012-12)
- Provide a voluntary evaluation form for program attendees (see a sample evaluation form (pdf)).
- Provide a certificate of completion that includes the associated program number (see a sample certificate of completion (pdf)).
- Maintain records of attendees for four years, by preparer tax identification number (PTIN), first and last name, and hours completed by program.
- Report attendance data to the IRS.
- Add new programs throughout the calendar year (if applicable) using your online CE Provider account.
- Renew your provider status each calendar year.
- Obtain new Program Numbers each calendar year.
- Sample program descriptions (pdf)
- Sample certificate of completion (pdf)
- Sample evaluation form (pdf)
- Review the documentation requirements for each provider status
- Frequently Asked Questions