The Certified Tax Resolution Specialist designation is awarded by the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS) to individuals who have met the educational, experience, and examination requirements prescribed by ASTPS. Becoming a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist is not easy, but meaningful accomplishments seldom are. The CTRS designation is restricted to Attorney, CPA, or Enrolled Agent ASTPS Members in good standing, who have proven expertise to resolve a wide range of tax problems. The services a CTRS provides to individuals and businesses include securing Offers In Compromise, Installment Agreements, Penalty Abatement, Innocent Spouse Relief, Release of Liens or Levies, Non-Filer issues and many others. Tax problem resolution is a unique area of professional practice that addresses a problem that affects a tremendous number of American citizens and residents.
Practice opportunities abound for a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist in all areas of the country and are growing. The reason is simple: the Congress has ordered the IRS to return to their primary function; the collection of taxes. The new Commissioner was appointed for his expertise in this area. The federal government is funding military actions on several fronts, a war on terror, and homeland security. At the same time, tax revenues they enjoyed during the dot-com boom have evaporated now that reality has imposed on the securities markets.
The Certified Tax Resolution Specialist designation allows taxpayers to identify experts in tax problem resolution. The ASTPS Board of Regents administers the Certification Program. The Board of Regents is the final authority in making decisions related to the Certification Program. The Certified Tax Resolution Specialist (CTRS) designation is only awarded to Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and Attorneys who meet the requirements prescribed herein.
Certified Tax Resolution Specialists benefits: - CTRS designation
- CTRS certificate (2 Copies)
- Recognition within the profession
- Credentials that distinguish you from other practitioners, and give you credibility with potential clients.
- CTRS logo for marketing. Use on your business cards, and your website!
To be a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist one must have demonstrated the expertise to provide appropriate solutions to a wide array of tax problems through problem analysis, action planning, and plan implementation including preparation of pertinent forms, correspondence, reports and assembly of supporting documents.
REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION
Only ASTPS Members are eligible for certification. To achieve the CTRS designation, one must (a) be of high moral character, (b) meet minimum educational and experience requirements, (c) hold a designation of being an Attorney, Certified Public Accountant, or Enrolled Agent, (d) pass a Uniform Examination, (e) maintain required CTRS continuing professional education, (f) pay the examination fee and annual dues, and (g) agree to abide by the Bylaws and Code of Professional Ethics of the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers.
In addition to the above, candidates for certification must satisfy a professional study requirement. The course material may be those presented by ASTPS or their equivalent. A minimum of 8 sessions in continuing education courses in the 2 years prior to applying. Examples of these courses include, but are not limited to, Rules of Practice, Taxes in Bankruptcy, Offers In Compromise, Innocent Spouse Representation, Handling Non-filer Engagements, Assessments & Abatements, Collections, Audits, Trust Fund Matters, Appeals, Statutes of Limitations, Practice Management, Marketing for Professional Practices, and other subjects determined to be appropriate by the Board of Regents. Each of these sessions will carry points toward certification eligibility as noted below. A variety of courses are sponsored by ASTPS allowing practitioners to select areas where they would like to gain new knowledge or enhance their present skills without spending time on subject material they are fully familiar with.
A Certified Tax Resolution Specialist must exhibit high moral and professional character. Because a CTRS represents clients before various taxing authorities to negotiate favorable solutions to their tax problems a reputation for truthfulness, credibility and adherence to ethical principle are mandatory.
One year of professional experience is required for certification. The experience requirement to achieve certification must be directly or indirectly related to the resolution of tax problems. The Board of Regents has determined that two years of practice as a Certified Public Accountant, Enrolled Agent or Attorney will meet the experience requirement provided that the practitioner attest to either direct or indirect involvement in tax problem resolution casework. Other individuals may apply to the Board of Regents to have their experience approved to permit certification.
THE QUALIFYING POINT SYSTEM
Your eligibility to be certified is based upon a point system that awards credit based on examination, education, and experience. All points claimed for education must be from a recognized institution of higher learning. For purposes of determining eligibility for certification, you may claim a combination of education and experience. A minimum of 36 points is required to be eligible for the Uniform CTRS Examination.
POINT SYSTEM BREAKDOWN:
- CREDENTIALS POINTS
(A minimum of 10 points permitted under this category)
- Ten points for holding a license as an Attorney, CPA, or Enrolled Agent
- EXPERIENCE POINTS
(A minimum of 10 points and a maximum of 30 points permitted under this category)
- Ten points for each year of full-time equivalent experience in a field directly
or indirectly related to tax problem resolution.
- PROFESSIONAL STUDY POINTS
(A minimum of 16 points required under this category)
- Two points for each educational course conducted under the auspices of
ASTPS or their equivalent within the past 2 years.
- Four points are awarded to any individual teaching one of the above
described courses within the past 2 years.
THE UNIFORM CTRS EXAMINATION
The examination will be made available to qualified candidates upon submission of an Application for Examination that reflects a candidate's eligibility. The examination must be completed and returned for grading within 30 days. The examination is a reliable test to determine a candidate's competence in tax problem resolution. A list of appropriate study materials is available to candidates. One hundred hours of study, or equivalent knowledge is recommended before sitting for the exam. The CTRS exam consists of two parts: The first part will be 150 objective questions covering all areas of IRS Problem Resolution, the second part will be a comprehensive case problem requiring preparation of a tax problem case for resolution. Examinations will be changed periodically and updated to insure integrity. Once completed and returned, your examination will be graded and you will be notified of the results within 14 business days.
The educational courses conducted by ASTPS will cover many of the subject areas to be tested on the Uniform Examinations. Further, prior to and while taking the examination you should consult to the Practitioners Publishing Company (PPC) "Dealing With The IRS" 2-Volume Set. Regardless if you take the exam or not, if you do not have this PPC set in your office it is beneficial to your practice to have it on hand. Click HERE to purchase the 2-Volume Set.
The Board of Regents has set a one time fee of $375 to apply for the examination.
TAKING THE EXAM
When you are prepared to take the exam, make formal application on the form provided by the Board of Regents to sit for CTRS examination and pay the exam fee. Complete the exam and return it for grading within 30 days. Completion of your application must include attestation of having met the requirements to sit, a sworn agreement to complete the examination without assistance from any other person and your agreement to keep the exam contents confidential.
RETAKING THE EXAM
If you do not pass all parts on the first attempt, you may sit for the failed parts later when you feel adequately prepared. However, you are limited to three attempts consisting of the first exam and two retakes. If not all parts are passed by the time you have taken the original test and two re-exams, you will be required to start the examination process over from the beginning. There is also a time limit, as all parts must be passed within twenty-four months of the first exam date. A separate reduced exam fee applies to retakes.
In order to pass the examination, a score of 75% on each part is required. Exam scores are only released when a passing grade is not achieved. Old exams are not released. These procedures are strictly maintained to assure the integrity of the examination process. A subcommittee of the Board of Regents grades completed exams. The candidate's identity is unknown to the subcommittee during the grading process. The Board also reviews the exams and is responsible for making any necessary adjustments.
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES
The annual American Society of Tax Problem Solvers membership dues must be paid to retain your designation as a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist. New certificates are issued upon payment of your dues and completion of your CTRS Continuing Professional Education requirements.
BYLAWS & CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
In order to maintain your status as a CTRS, you must agree to abide by the Rules of Practice, ASTPS Organizational Bylaws and Code of Professional Ethics.
American Society of Tax Problem Solvers ©
To Begin the Certification Process Click The Link Below: