6 Mistakes to avoid with EA CE
Mistake # 6: EA fails to review PTIN account
EAs should check their PTIN account
Enrolled Agents are responsible for verifying that the CE hours earned have been properly reported to their PTIN account. If you have taken any CE courses during the quarter, you should login to your IRS PTIN account at the end of that quarter to verify that the hours have been correctly posted to your account.
As discussed in the section on Mistake #5: Courses not reported to the IRS, there are a number of things that can happen that cause your hours to not get reported.
In addition to the problems discussed in that section, courses that were taken for an invalid subject matter will also not be reported because they will not have an IRS course number associated with them.
What if my hours don’t get reported to the IRS?
Let’s say you don’t notice right away that your hours were not reported. You used an email address that you don’t check very often when you took your course and you didn’t read the notice from the CE provider that the hours were rejected. It’s now been two years since you took the course, and it’s past the cut off date when the CE provider could still submit hours to that calendar year.
All is not lost. The IRS still primarily relies on your self reporting of CE hours earned, when you submit your EA license renewal Form 8554. You should, of course, retain all CE records for the required five year period after date of course completion. If you are selected for a CE audit, you will be required to provide copies of your CE certificates. If you took your courses from FunCPE, you have lifetime access to get copies of your CPE certificates.
The IRS started the required CPE reporting to the PTIN system in 2012, and the system became fully operational in 2013. As we move forward, we expect the IRS to more stringently monitor the CPE reporting to each EAs PTIN account. Any noted deficiency in the hours reported to your PTIN account will possibly trigger an automatic IRS CE audit in the future.