A Smart Solution to a Taxing Problem Clark College Corporate & Continuing Education Partners with Pacific Northwest Tax School to Offer Online Income Tax Courses

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The partnership will provide Clark College students with immediate access to Pacific Northwest Tax School's interactive online learning management system which features lecture video recordings, Q&A forums and customized student manuals.

"We anticipate between 300,000 to 500,000 tax preparers will be required to pass the new IRS exam within the next two years and that a majority of these preparers will not pass the exam without completing comprehensive tax education programs first.

With new education and testing requirements taking effect this fall for tax preparers, Pacific Northwest Tax School (PNWTS) and Clark College Corporate & Continuing Education have established a partnership to offer online basic tax education classes. The partnership will provide residents of Washington with the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion in tax education through PNWTS' interactive online learning management system. The partnership will provide Clark College students with immediate access to Pacific Northwest Tax School's interactive online learning managements system which features lecture video recordings, Q&A forums and customized student manuals.

"Demand for access to quality tax education programs is expected to rise sharply as the IRS implements mandatory testing, registration, and education requirements for paid tax preparers for the first time this fall," said April Gutierrez, C.E.O. and founder of Pacific Northwest Tax School. The examination requirement applies to all paid tax preparers who prepare individual tax returns and are not currently licensed as CPAs, Enrolled Agents or Attorneys.

"We anticipate between 300,000 to 500,000 tax preparers will be required to pass the new IRS exam within the next two years and that a majority of these preparers will not pass the exam without completing comprehensive tax education programs first," said Gutierrez. "Our partnership with Clark College Corporate & Continuing Education brings a valuable educational resource to Clark College students and tax preparers in the State of Washington."

The new IRS test mandate follows release of a GAO report that recommended the IRS adopt a licensing and testing regime. The mandate is aimed at improving tax preparer knowledge and protecting consumers from incompetent and unscrupulous tax preparers who have historically been able to offer services to the public with no education or testing requirements. Prior to implementation of the new IRS regulations, tax preparers have not been required to demonstrate a minimum level of knowledge or maintain a license to show their qualifications.

In 1973, Oregon established a two-tiered system of licensing that incorporates mandatory education, testing, and work experience. "Nationally, there is a great deal of speculation as to what the IRS exam will look like and what tax preparers can do to prepare themselves", said Gutierrez. "However, Oregon's 38-year history of testing and licensing tax preparers shows that exam pass rates are tied to the quality of tax education programs students complete. Access to quality tax education programs will be crucial to ensuring tax preparers have the knowledge and testing skills needed to pass the IRS exam."

"The quality of the professional tax preparation program offered by Pacific NW Tax School is exemplary. I was impressed by the recommendations they provided in support of the program," declared Mark Gaither, eLearning instructional designer at Clark College Corporate & Continuing Education. Clark students will be able to access the school through a link on the Corporate & Continuing Education website to a dedicated learning management system at PNWTS.

About Clark College Corporate & Continuing Education and Pacific Northwest Tax School

Clark College Corporate & Continuing Education is the region's premier provider of classes, seminars, certificate programs and training opportunities, serving the residents and businesses of Southwest Washington. They are dedicated to providing a variety of lifelong learning, personal enrichment and professional development training for individuals re-entering the job world, moving up the corporate ladder or simply interested in acquiring a new skill. Information about Clark College Corporate & Continuing Education is available at http://www.clark.edu/cce.

Pacific Northwest Tax School was formed in 2001 to address the chronic shortage of licensed tax preparers in the State of Oregon by providing high-quality tax education programs. The school's intensive online tax education programs have a proven record of helping students prepare for and pass tax preparer examinations with more than 92% of students successfully passing Oregon tax preparer exams on their first attempt. Pacific Northwest Tax School is dedicated to delivering beginner and advanced tax education courses that provide students with the knowledge needed for delivering competent tax preparation services and building clientele in the competitive tax preparation industry. For more information about tax preparer registration, tax preparer competency exams or continuing education programs for CPAs, enrolled agents and other tax preparers, visit their website at: http://www.pnwtaxschool.com.

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