Effective June 21st, 2017 the IRS resumed the issuance of Preparer Tax ID Numbers (PTIN) without charge. You read that right:  new PTINs and renewals are now FREE!  The normal fee to obtain or renew a PTIN was $50.00 to $64.25 prior to the 2017 court ruling.

As this lawsuit works its way though the course system, the IRS may be allowed to start charging PTIN fees again.

 ~ ~ ~

Effective June 1st, 2017 the IRS shut down the PTIN system in response to a recent court ruling. Why?

Federal district court ruled the IRS does not have the right to charge fees

IRS Statement on Suspending PTIN Renewals and Issuances

The following statement was posted on the irs.gov site:

On June 1, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s authority to require the use of a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), but enjoined the IRS from charging a user fee for the issuance and renewal of PTINs. As a result of this order, PTIN registration and renewal is currently suspended.

The IRS, working with the Department of Justice, is considering how to proceed. As additional information becomes available, it will be posted on our Tax Pros page.

Will the IRS refund the PTIN fees paid?

Maybe.  The lawsuit related to this shutdown was brought by 2 CPAs in 2014, who sued the IRS over the PTIN fees on behalf of the over 700,000 tax preparers who pay PTIN fees annually.  Estimates are as high as $245 million in fees charged since the initial 2010 regulations issued for registering tax preparers with PTINS (remember the RTRP program?).

Who is affected by the PTIN system?

Enrolled Agents (EA) are required to maintain a current PTIN, and can use the system to check on the reporting of CPE courses completed.

Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) participants must also have a current PTIN, and can check on the reporting of CPE courses completed.  

All Tax Preparers:  Anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation must have a valid PTIN before preparing retuns.

CPE Providers approved by the IRS, such as FunCPE who report completed courses to the PTIN system.

What is the PTIN fee used for?

Although originally there was no charge to obtain or renew a PTIN, the fee was as high as $64.25/$64 to obtain/renew a PTIN just prior to November 1, 2015.  As of Novemeber 1, 2015 the annual fee was reduced to $50 for both new and renewed numbers.

The IRS stated that of this $50 fee, $33 is "a user fee to support program costs" and a third party vendor gets the remaining $17 to operate the online system and provide customer support.

Renewing your Enrollled Agent status

No need to be concerned about your EA renewal status, as long as you renew it by your renewal deadline on the Renewal Form 8554.

Renewing your PTIN

Preparers do not need any CE to renew their PTIN. The AFSP program is completely optional, although it does provide some benefits in client represenation.

You should be able to renew your PTIN during the normal renewal period starting November 1st.

 * * *

Hope this clarifies the situation, and as usual feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this.  We will update this page if any news comes out from the IRS about the status of the renewal process and fees.

Frequently Asked Questionssign-faq

Find out why your fellow professionals are using FunCPE!

Don't see your question asked and answered? Please email us!
About FunCPE
Taking exams
Making payments / prices
Certificates of Completion
Miscellaneous
About FunCPE

Who is FunCPE?

FunCPE is a provider of high quality self-study continuing professional education for financial professionals. FunCPE is owned and operated by CPAs. All exams are prepared and tested by CPAs. We are committed to providing complete, accurate and up-to-date education materials for financial professionals. What makes us different is that an element of fun is included in every exam. Technically, there is no requirement that CPE courses must be dull--and our research indicates a higher retention rate for humorous materials. Read more on the About FunCPE page.

 

Do you have any references from customers?

Yes, we have received hundreds of positive comments from our students and you can read some of the unsolicited comments from our customers. We also offer a Risk Free Guarantee, so the only risk to you is missing out on some interesting courses at remarkably low prices!

 

Is FunCPE qualified to offer self-study CPE courses?

Yes. Our courses are all formal interactive self-study courses.

CPAs in most states can take our courses for credit. For CPAs, our standards for course development meet the published standards from the states in which our CPE is accepted for CPAs.

For all other professions cited in the next section, our CPE meets the professional standards for that profession, on a nationwide basis.

 

Which professionals can obtain CPE credit from FunCPE?

Our CPE meets national and state guidelines for the following professions.

 

And many additional tax, accounting and fraud professionals can take our CPE for credit--view the complete list of over 35 certifications.

Which states accept your courses for CPE credit for CPAs?

See a detailed answer to this question on our State Acceptance page.

 

Do you expect to offer other courses?

Yes. Our course developers are constantly developing new offerings. We welcome suggestions for new courses as well. Please sign up for our newsletter to receive notice of new courses. We also welcome suggestions for new course topics and always need pilot testers for the new courses.

 

How does FunCPE compare to other CPE providers?

Our courses are informative, interesting and --dare we say it--sometimes even entertaining.

We believe our prices are the lowest in the market. In fact, we invite you to compare. Our prices are lower because:

  1. Many of our courses include online materials
  2. No book purchase is ever required for our book-based courses--borrow it from the library (or even buy a used book from Amazon--we have seen some of our selections for less that $1.00!)
  3. No sales tax is charged, even in our home state of Texas, since we are not selling a product
  4. No requirement to purchase multiple courses to get a discount--our courses are already discounted!
  5. No need to "share with a friend"

You may also review our customer comments.

 

How can you evaluate CPE providers?

We have prepared a complete checklist to help you evaluate CPE quality.

 

Is your website secure?

Yes. When you click on "Purchase a Course" you enter our shopping cart system. You will notice that the web address at the top of your browser changes from beginning with "http" to beginning with "https." The "s" on "https" indicates the site is a secure site.

Our system does not retain credit card information and we cannot view or retrieve your credit card number at any time.

We also cannot view your User password.  

We use Authorize.net as our payment gateway. Authorize.net is part of CyberSource Corporation--these companies processed over $65 billion in e-commerce transactions in 2006.

 

Taking exams

What is the process for completing a course at FunCPE?

  1. Select your course or courses from the Course Listing
  2. New customers complete the registration; existing customers login
  3. Pay online by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover) to receive immediate access to your courses (or pay by check using the Order Form)
  4. Obtain your study materials
    For courses using online materials, the link to the materials will be displayed after you login to your course.  
    For book courses: obtain the book at your library, from a friend or purchase online or locally
  5. Receive test results instantly after exam submission.
  6. After you pass the final exam with 70% correct or better, you receive your exam results along with a link to your certificate.  Certificate of completion is also emailed immediately after passing exam.

For detailed printable instructions go to our Instructions Page.

 

What is the format of the exams?
All exams are open book with multiple choice and true/false questions. There are no essays. All FunCPE courses are "exam only" and materials must be obtained separately.

Each course consists of:

1) Description of course material needed:
Online course materials--many courses include online material in the form of a PDF document  (these courses state "online materials")
Book courses use books you can borrow from a friend or the library, or purchase online

2) Review questions exam
We offer a review questions exam, but you do not need to achieve a passing grade if you take it. After completing the review questions exam, you can review which questions you missed. Explanations for correct and incorrect answers are available when you review your exam. Most people find the review questions exam helps them understand the material and pass the final exam.

3) Examination and course evaluation
Once you have completed the online examination, submit your exam for grading by clicking on the "submit" button at the end of the exam. After submitting the exam, your confirmation page will contain a link to the course evaluation.

 

What score do I need to pass the course?

You must correctly answer at least 70% of all questions on the final exam in order to pass the course. You do not need to achieve a passing score on the review questions exam.

 

What happens if I do not pass the final exam?

  • You may take the exam again.
  • There is no charge to retake the final exam.
  • You can take the final exam as many times as necessary to pass.
  • You can retake the final exam automatically.

When you retake the exam, you cannot see your previous answers or which questions you missed. After you pass the exam, you can then see which questions you missed. 

 

What if I can't finish the exam in one sitting?

No problem. You can leave and return at any time. During the exam, you should click on " Next " at the bottom of any exam page--your answers are saved once you advance to the next page. You can change any of your answers at any time up until you submit the exam for grading.


Do I need to pass the Review Questions exam?

No, you do not need to pass the Review Questions exam, which is part of every interactive course. You can take the review exam (by answering at least one question), and submit the exam, but you do not need to achieve a passing grade.

Our course format meets the "interactive" course requirements; review questions must be offered but completion is not mandatory. It will help your understanding of the course material to take the review questions exam and then review your answers, including the feedback concerning correct and incorrect answers.

 

Can I take my exams using a Safari browser?

Yes, our exams can be completed using a Safari browser.

 

I want to fill out the Course Evaluation, but I can't get back to that screen

The link to the evaluation pops up after you pass the final exam, but if you missed that link, here it is: Course Evaluation.

 

Can I fax or mail in my answers?

We no longer accept faxed answers, although you can email them. Please include your name and User ID, as well as the course number.

 

Making payments

What types of payment do you accept?

We accept payment by check, money order, or Visa / Mastercard / American Express / Discover. All checks or money orders should be made payable to "FunCPE" and mailed to:

FunCPE
38 Pleasant Bend Drive
Spring, TX 77382

 

Do you accept credit card payments by phone?

Yes, we do accept credit card payments by phone. Our office hours are 8 - 5 Monday through Friday, Central Standard Time.

 

Do you offer discounted prices or group CPE discounts?

We offer "everyday low prices" and do not discount our CPE courses. We believe that it is easier and more convenient to be able to purchase your CPE courses when you need them and in any quantity.

We have found the CPE providers offering "purchase 2 courses, get 10% off" or "3 courses for 15% off" pricing schemes imply that the courses are overpriced to start with.

And since you obtain your CPE materials yourself--either using included online materials in some courses, or through purchased or borrowed business books--your total cost is reduced. No need to "share with a friend" to get a lower cost, although we certainly do encourage you to tell your friends about FunCPE.com!

 

Certificates of Completion

When do I receive my certificate of completion?

If you correctly answer 70% of the final exam questions, immediately after submitting the exam an email will be sent to you with your certificate of completion. You can also access your certificate by logging into the course system, then click on "view" under "Certificate" for the course.

 

What will be the effective date of my certificate of completion?

Your certificate of completion will be dated as of the date that you pass the final exam.

 

Can I obtain a copy of my certificate of completion later?

Yes, if you misplace your certificate of completion, please email us with the course number or name and year completed. We will email you a copy of your certificate at no charge.

You can also access most certificates directly when you first login to the course system, by clicking on "view" under "Certificate" for the course.  If you are in a course, you can click on "My Courses" in the top blue menu to access your certificates.

 

Can I see an example CPE certificate?

Sure--here is an example CPE certificate. All CPE reporting information is included on the certificate as required by AICPA/NASBA, state CPA Boards of Accountancy and other professional licenses.

 

 

Miscellaneous

I forgot my password and/or user ID

No problem. We can send you your password and user ID automatically by email 24/7. You can also call us during business hours and we can look up your User ID and/or email for you.  We cannot view your password, although we can create a new password, which you can then change.

If your email address has changed, you will need to call us or email us, rather than use the automated password retrieval.

 

How can you offer quality courses at such low prices?

We keep our course prices low by eliminating stocking and shipping costs (by providing course materials online and allowing you to use books from your library) and minimizing marketing costs.

We also save on administrative costs and reduce the cost to our customers by eliminating sales tax (since we don't sell any products, we do not charge sales tax, even to our Texas CPE customers). While other CPE providers mail out color brochures, we rely on postcards and email notices for new course offerings and specials, as well as word-of-mouth from our satisfied customers.

 

Can I sign up for a mailing list?

We have a free newsletter which includes new course offerings.

 

How often are the tax courses updated?

Usually annually.  Some tax courses use books that are general in nature ("Stand Up to the IRS" for example) and these books are only updated periodically.  Federal tax courses are typically updated annually.   Federal tax laws are not finalized until December of each tax year, so we can generally update our courses to a new tax year in late December or the first few months of the following year.

 

What if I don't receive my certificate of completion email?

If you do not receive your certificate of completion within 15 minutes of passing your exam, please contact us. The certificate is sent as a PDF attachment to an email.

There are 2 primary reasons why you might not receive your certificate:

1) You typed in an incorrect email address during registration or

2) Your email system has a filter that prevents some emails from getting through to you. You may want to check your "junk mail" folder.

Solution: just let us know and we can email your certificate to a home/personal email account if necessary.

You can also access most certificates directly when you first login to the course system, by clicking on "view" under "Certificate" for the course.  If you are in a course, you can click on "My Courses" in the top blue menu to access your certificates.

We can also mail your certificate "the old-fashioned way" (by U.S. Mail) or fax it to you.


Is there a time limit for course completion (from date of purchase)?

Courses must be completed within one year of purchase. This time limit for course completion is consistent with various state accounting board requirements as well as the AICPA / NASBA CPE course standards.

 

Certificate of Completion HelpHelp--how do I get a copy of my certificate of completion?

Our online course system provides direct access to your certificates-24/7!



Here's how to view and print your certificates:

1 Click on Student Login from the top right hand corner of any funcpe.com page:

certificate-how-to-1b

 

2 Enter your User ID and Password (did you forget your User ID and/or password?):

certificate-how-to-2b

 

3 Click on view to see your certificate.  Even if the course is expired (courses expire one year from date of purchase), you can always still access the certificate.

certificate-how-to-4b

 

4 Click on the printer icon to print your certificate

certificate-how-to-5b

 

Certificates and course history available at any time

Unlike many of our competitors, you do not need to have a "current subscription" in order to log into the course system.  You can log in at any time to view your course history and reprint certificates.  Your access to your certificates never expires.

If you have any problems accessing your certificates--CALL US!

Our helpful staff is standing by to assist you:

  • Call toll free: 877-7FUNCPE (877-738-6273)
  • Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

No problem! 

  1. Go to the course login screen here,
  2. Click on Recover User ID and Password,
  3. Enter your email address in the box, and
  4. Click "Submit."

 Capture recover password

 

 We will send your password and User ID to you immediately.

I forgot my User ID

If you can't remember your User ID, follow the same procedure for a forgotten password--one email is sent which contains both the User ID and password.

My email address is different now from the one used to register

Send us an email with your name and new email address, and we will update our course system for you.  If you don't tell us to update your email address, the User ID/password reminder email goes to your old email address.

I can't remember if I have ever registered with FunCPE

If you can't remember your User ID, just email us or give us a call and we will look it up for you.  If you try to register and you get the message that your email is already in use, that means you have already registered with FunCPE once before.

It is better to update your old profile than create a new one, as this allows you to view and reprint old certificates and generally keep all your course information together.

Password reset available

We can also reset your password to something new, so you can login and then update your student profile information (and enter a new password).

More questions?

If you need additional help, just This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (877-738-6273).

Our courses have been designed to be easy to take and completely menu driven.

You most likely won't need these detailed instructions!

To print these instructions, click on the | Print | link next to the page title.

Step 1 - Register
  • Go to the CPE Course List
  • Click Add to Cart to enroll in a course
    • You may need to click "add to cart" again in the pop up window

      How to add to cart and checkout
  • Checkout now
  • Log in (or create new user ID if you are a new student) to complete enrollment
    (Click here if you've forgotten your User ID or password , or call us if your email address has changed and we'll retrieve it for you)
  • Enter credit card information (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover)
  • Click Complete Enrollment
NEW USERS:

After you click on Add to Cart and Checkout Now

  • Select the button for "I do not have an account with FunCPE"
  • Enter a user name and password 
  • Enter your name/address/license information
  • Click on the "Submit" button
  • Proceed with registration

No credit card information required to take the free course.

You will receive an emailed receipt confirming your purchase and including a link to login to the course

Note: we also accept registration by phone or mail.

Step 2 - Log in
  • After completing your checkout, you will see a confirmation page containing a link:
    Click here to Login
  • Once you login, you will see a list of courses you are enrolled in.
    Click on Launch next to the course you wish to take
  • At any time you can login by clicking on the Student Login from any page, in the top right hand corner of the screen. When you login, you can view the courses you have enrolled in.
certificate-how-to-1b
Step 3 - Take the course

The course is completely menu driven and will contain the following steps:

  • Step 1:  How to obtain course materials
  • Step 2:  Print or view the exam (optional)
  • Step 3:  Complete the review questions
  • Step 4:  Complete the final exam
  • Print or view the study guide/outline

This screenshot shows where to click, once you login, to access the exams:

How to take the exams

Courses and exams may be stopped and re-started as many times as you wish, with no loss of answers. When you are taking an exam, simply advance to the next page of the exam to save your answers.

All courses include a Review Questions exam that must be taken prior to starting the Final Exam. You do not have to pass the Review Questions exam, you need only attempt the exam and submit it, in order to progress to the Final Exam.

You must answer 70% of the questions correctly on the Final Exam in order to pass.

Step 4 - Submit your exam
  • At the end of the exam, click on Submit exam
    The system asks "Are you sure?"
    Click on "yes"
  • Your grade will be displayed instantly on screen
  • If you submitted a Review Questions exam, you do not need to achieve a passing score to advance to the Final Exam.
  • If you passed the final exam, you will receive your certificate of completion by email within minutes

If you did not pass the final exam, you can take the exam again--as many times as you need to (there is no charge to re-take an exam).

If you don't receive your Certificate of Completion promptly, you can easily retrieve a copy (at any time). Here are some screenshots that walk you through getting your certificate copy.

You may not receive the certificate of completion by email if your email address was mis-typed, your mailbox is full or a spam filter has filtered out the email (check your spam or junk mail folder if you have one).

Supplemental Information

How to obtain your course materials

All FunCPE book courses are "exam only" so you will need to obtain the course book separately. We do not sell/ship books or materials--this makes your CPE more affordable, because you get your books (for book courses) anywhere you want.

The course listing indicates whether the course uses Online Materials (this means the materials are included in the price and are available once you enroll and login to the course) or Books (which must be obtained separately).

 for each course will have detailed instructions on how to obtain the appropriate study materials for the course, including book edition information, links to amazon.com, links to the PDF documents, etc.


Online Materials

  • After logging into the course system, click on the link to Course Materials to view and/or print the materials.
  • You will need Adobe Acrobat to open the PDF file
  • Click here to download Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) https://get.adobe.com/reader/

Book Courses

  • If the course uses a book, there will be a link to amazon.com
  • To save money, consider looking at Amazon's used books (we have seen some of our selections available for as little as $1.00)
  • Alternatively, feel free to borrow the book from a friend or the library, or purchase it from a local store
  • Most FunCPE book courses use books that can be downloaded to a Kindle or other e-reader

Have any questions?

You may find your questions answered on our FAQ page, but always feel free to contact us directly with any questions or comments you may have.

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