THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 39-2010 prescribing the number of hours required to be taken by tax agents and practitioners as continuing professional education (CPE), as well as the guidelines for accrediting CPE providers and registering CPE events.

Tax agents and practitioners are those who are engaged in the regular preparation, certification, audit and filing of tax returns or other reports required by the Tax Code or those who regularly appear in meetings, conferences and hearings before any office of the BIR officially on behalf of a taxpayer.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

In year 2006, the BIR issued Revenue Regulations 11-2006 requiring that only accredited tax agents can represent clients before the BIR; otherwise, the bureau may refuse to transact business or accept financial statements, protests and requests for ruling filed on behalf of a taxpayer if not signed by an accredited tax agent. To avoid unfavorable consequences, taxpayers should ensure that their tax advisers and auditors are BIR accredited.

Further, in RMO 39-2010, the BIR required that tax agents and practitioners applying for accreditation with the BIR must complete six hours of CPE each year, or a total of 18 hours of CPE for three years.

Only CPE credits from seminars conducted by a BIR-accredited CPE provider will be counted.

Tax agents and practitioners applying for accreditation in year 2010 and those who are presently accredited but have not submitted any proof of CPE completion to the BIR are required to complete the 18 hours of CPE requirement not later than Sept. 30, 2010. (Source: Punongbayan & Araullo)