SOURCE: Prometric

Prometric

May 31, 2011 09:22 ET

Prometric Awarded Multi-Year Contract by IRS to Support Return Preparer Testing and Fingerprinting Programs

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwire - May 31, 2011) - Prometric, trusted provider of market-leading test development and delivery solutions, has been awarded a five-year contract to administer the new competency examination and fingerprinting program for certain paid tax return preparers by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department.

Under the award, the company is responsible for administering and delivering a new competency examination. Prometric also will be responsible for test development support which includes conducting job analyses using subject matter experts (SMEs) from both the IRS and preparer community to ascertain the capabilities and necessary knowledge for return preparers.

"Prometric is uniquely qualified to deliver a comprehensive solution to help the IRS achieve its objectives," said Michael Brannick, president and chief executive officer of Prometric. "We are proud to bring our successful track record and extensive experience with government and private sector programs for the larger tax preparer community to bear on this important endeavor. We look forward to deepening our partnership with the IRS."

The IRS will require paid federal tax return preparers to satisfy certain competency standards going forward, and preparers must pass the competency exam to officially become a registered tax return preparer later in 2011. Registration is a critical factor, because if preparers already have their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) before the testing becomes available, they will have until December 31, 2013, to complete this exam. Once the competency exam has been released, they will not be assigned a PTIN by the IRS until they pass this test.

It is estimated that approximately 500,000 candidates will be tested over the five-year period. Attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents, however, will be exempt from the competency test requirement. Enrolled actuaries and enrolled retirement plan agents also will be exempt from the competency test requirement if they only prepare returns within the limited practice areas of these groups. Additionally, preparers who do not sign returns but work under the supervision of an attorney, CPA or enrolled agent are exempt from testing, as are individuals who only prepare returns outside the Form 1040 series.

About Prometric

Prometric, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ETS, is a trusted provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment. Its market-leading test development and delivery solutions allow clients to develop and launch global testing programs as well as accurately measure program results and data. Prometric reliably delivers and administers more than 10 million tests a year on behalf of approximately 400 clients in the academic, financial, government, healthcare, professional, corporate and information technology markets. It delivers tests flexibly via the Web or by utilizing a robust network of more than 10,000 test centers in more than 160 countries. For more information, please visit www.prometric.com.

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