6 Mistakes to avoid with EA CE

Mistake # 3: Course format is not acceptable

What are the course format requirements?

IRS approved CPE courses must follow specific standards as outlined in both the Circular 230 and supplementary standards published. For example, self-study courses cannot be based solely on IRS publications, although publications can be used as supplemental reference material to other instructional materials.

Program length

CE credit is only given for full hours. A CE credit hour is 50 minutes of instruction +10 minutes for a break. This is sometimes referred to as a “50-minute hour.”

Review questions required

Self-study courses must use review questions which test the student for understanding of the program material and then offer explanations for correct and incorrect answers (also called “evaluative feedback”). There must be at least three review questions per credit hour for the course. The review questions exam does not need to have a minimum passing score.

Final exam

The final exam must have a minimum passing score of 70% correct. There must be at least five final exam questions per credit hour. There is no restriction on how many times the exam can be retaken until passed for every course except the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR).  The AFTR course is only for non-credentialed tax preparers, so EAs cannot take this course.

FunCPE policies allow final exams to be retaken an unlimited number of times for EA courses, until passed, at no additional charge.  

Certificate of completion

A certificate of completion must be provided to the student and the certificate must include the IRS program number.

Evaluation form

Students must be offered a voluntary evaluation form.

Oversight of CE providers

The IRS periodically audits all approved CE providers and examines their adherence to the acceptable CE course policies and procedures.  

Read about another mistake

Mistake # 1

CE provider not authorized by IRS

Mistake # 2

Courses not for approved subject

Mistake # 3

Course format not acceptable

Mistake # 4

CE taken in wrong time period

Mistake # 5

CE Courses not reported to the IRS

Mistake # 6

EA fails to review PTIN account