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IRS To Remind Taxpayers About Registered Tax Return Preparer Program For Paid Helpers

IRS To Remind Taxpayers About Registered Tax Return Preparer Program For Paid Helpers

The IRS wants to inform taxpayers about a phenomenon that should interest anyone in the tax preparation industry. The subject is ghost preparers, which is a term used for people who help with preparation of tax forms without signing the return.

Most ghost preparers are friends or family members that claim to know all about taxes. They provide help for a small fee. No matter how many or few returns are prepared by these individuals, they must register with the IRS. By doing so, they are subjected to tax preparer continuing education requirements starting in 2012.

A total of 15 hours of tax CPE is mandated per year for all tax return preparers. This includes 3 hours of updates to tax laws. In some years, that is barely sufficient to address the large number changes in tax rules. Congress has tinkered extensively in recent years with tax credits and above the line income adjustments. These legal modifications have scheduled expirations or expansions.

The purpose of the registered tax return preparer program is assurance that calculations for various deductions and credits consider eligible expenses, qualified persons, and correct income limitations. Ghost preparers don’t maintain knowledge of updated tax rules. They also lack IRS tax preparer study and haven’t passed a competency exam.

The most egregious cases of ghost preparers are the ones promising larger refunds with bogus deductions and illegal filing for refundable tax credits. These blatant violators of registered tax return preparer ethics have obvious reason for failure to register with the IRS. In most instances, taxpayers are innocent dupes who have assigned their tax refunds to the ghost preparers’ bank accounts after obtaining amounts in advance from the preparation helpers.

An honest tax preparation business should warn consumers about these crooked ghost preparers. The IRS will pursue the taxpayer for any inaccurate tax calculations. Taxpayers owe the excessive refund claims even when the ghost preparers are apprehended and prosecuted. The first clue about an illegal ghost preparer is that they don’t sign the tax returns.

Every professional with an IRS RTRP license must also guard against helping ghost preparers electronically file fraudulent tax returns. These are requests to e-file returns that the ghost preparer claims are relatives, usually living in the same household. The ghost preparer will record tax information on IRS forms and introduce the alleged relatives, who will swear that they did not provide compensation for preparation of the tax papers. In these cases, a tax preparer professional should inquire of the named taxpayers about accuracy of their tax forms. Often, their responses indicate that circumstances don’t exist for claims of suspicious deductions and preferential Head of Household filing status.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.…

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Online Psychology: Continuing Education for The Mental Health Professional

Online Psychology: Continuing Education for The Mental Health Professional

Mental health professionals are always looking for ways to expand their sources of knowledge. Today, this often means finding online psychology continuing education courses they can use to not only broaden their own study, but earn credits that could aid them in their careers in a number of ways. Professional development past the point of a base education is a concept growing in popularity not only in the world of mental health, but in fields as diverse as teaching and stock trading. Further learning can lead to higher pay, better strategies, and advancements in your chosen field. There is a wealth of information to be had on the Internet; while not all sources are legitimate, of course, a reputable website can be an even better resource than a textbook, as it is continually updated with new information and debates. Here are some of the methods you can use to further your own betterment.

Online psychology continuing education courses are some of the easiest and most popular ways for a mental health professional to further their studies. These courses offer the busy professional a chance to earn credits and learn at their own leisure, rather than being at the behest of a difficult class schedule. This can make all the difference when it comes to being successful in such a program. These web based classes aren’t limited to any particular area, either. Many community and full universities offer online classes and many will allow enrollment from out of state (though it will probably cost quite a lot more). There are also websites entirely devoted to offering e-courses, which provide another level of home-based learning. Many people find that the schedule-free aspect of this method of learning helps them to pursue knowledge based on personal interest instead of fear of academic penalty, helping them attain a much wider and more solid knowledge base in the field.

One of the most exciting opportunities these days for mental health professionals is the proliferation of online lectures and webinars. These videos and courses allow you to learn at the feet of the giants in the field, without spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars to fly to a big city and see them live. Often, these seminars are at least partially interactive and they provide a good opportunity to network with other interested parties, perhaps offering an additional way to further your career goals and aspirations.

Finally, don’t overlook the importance of furthering your technical knowledge. Online psychology, continuing education courses included, is not immune to advancements in the way people use technology. Keeping up with the latest software and hardware innovations – particularly those which are specifically developed with the mental health field in mind – is essential to developing a thriving practice. There are many forms of software that can help anyone in any form of business streamline their tasks and free up their time. Any automated processes you can put into practice will give you that much more time to develop your professional career.…

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Why Internet Courses Are So Popular

Why Internet Courses Are So Popular

Online education as grown tremendously over the past few years. Whether we are talking about students going back to school or professionals completing their continuing education requirements; internet course offerings are at an all time high. Students and professionals value online courses for many reasons. They are convenient, easy to complete, and save the individual time. These are three factors that all professionals take into consideration when making a decision.

Online classes are convenient because they can be completed from anywhere with internet access. You do not have to be online at a specific time to attend a class. You also do not have to travel anywhere and sit in a lecture hall. Whether they are self study, correspondence courses, or online interactive courses you have the flexibility to complete the classes on your own time. Many of the online courses also allow you to log in and out at your digression. So it is ok to start a course, take a break, and then finish at a later time.

Most online platforms are easy to navigate through. Whether you are using Moodle, WebCT, or Blackboard; as long as you know how to surf the web you should be able to complete at online course. This is very important. Some students and professionals are not aware of the simplicity of taking an online class. As long as you receive a username and password to log in you are ready to start. There are usually many links on the homepage which allow the student to choose what they are looking for. All assignments are submitted online via email or through a discussion board posting to make it easy for the student.

Finally, we will discuss one of the most important factors of an online course; saving time. Time is very important to students, professionals, and pretty much everyone. If you choose to continue your education through the internet you can avoid traveling to a class, parking, and sitting through a lecture. These tasks seem fairly simple, but can actually be very tedious. If the class or University is 25 minutes away for example, an hour of your day will be spent commuting to class, parking, and walking. For most adults returning to school an hour is a long time!

As you can see, there are many benefits to online courses. The internet has evolved over the years to make life easier for individuals all over the world. Take advantage of technology and don’t be left in the dust!…

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Georgia Massage Therapy – Continuing Education Requirements

Georgia Massage Therapy – Continuing Education Requirements

The perks of continuing education are multifold; not only do they encourage licensed professionals to be more mindful of changes and happenings within their industry, they also ensure that these professionals remain up-to-date on key knowledge and facts. Moreover, most professional organizations require such ongoing learning to occur throughout the year. The field of massage therapy is no different. Continuing education is more than just encouraging licensed massage therapists to sharpen their massage therapy knowledge; it also ensures that they adhere to high standards of professional performance.

In the state of Georgia, every two years (every even numbered year), licensed massage therapists must acquire twenty-four hours of massage therapy continuing education units in order to remain compliant with the Georgia State Board of Massage Therapy regulations. This is to ensure that licensed massage therapists are always current and continue to offer their clients the best massage therapy possible.

By October 31, 2010, all licensed massage therapists in the state of Georgia will be required to renew their license with the state massage board. One of the requirements is to submit proof of participation in twenty-four hours of continuing education courses. To learn more about what is needed to stay up-to-date and remain fully compliant as a licensed massage therapist in Georgia, always make sure that you visit

Remaining Compliant with the State

Course hours & requirements: Twelve of the twenty-four hours of massage therapy continuing education must be hands-on or technique based, while the remaining twelve hours can be on-line or lecture only. Many licensed massage therapists use this time to choose courses that focus on massage techniques and/or modalities in which they wish to specialize or simply learn more about. Topics include sports massage, cranial sacral therapy, geriatric massage, spa techniques or pregnancy massage. The list of possible massage therapy continuing education courses is approved list of courses and/or providers can be found on the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) website at .

Credentials: Before beginning any massage therapy continuing education courses, ensure that the program in which you are enrolling is fully recognized by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy and that the instructors are credentialed. The program should have a provider code number assigned by the NCBTMB in order to issue credits.

Program documentation: Should you be audited, you will need to have proper documentation of completed massage therapy continuing education courses.

This documentation should include proof of attendance and participation at a hands-on workshop, seminar, conference, or other educational program. Upon completion of the program, you should be given a certificate that includes a massage therapist license number and the approved provider’s number (signed or verified by a program official), and a program or course description detailing the sponsor, course title, date, course, content description, and schedule.

For massage therapy continuing education courses that do not involve hands-on techniques, such as lectures, multimedia courses, correspondence courses, or formal self-study, you will also need a certificate of completion with the information outlined above. In the case of self-study, you will need to have verification by a course sponsor as well as detailed information about the nature of the course.

New licensees: If you are a massage therapist who was licensed within the first year of the biennial renewal period, you will be responsible for acquiring only twelve massage therapy continuing education hours, six of which must be hands-on supervised instruction. Massage therapists who have been licensed within the past twelve months are not held accountable for acquiring any continuing education credits until the next renewal period.

Record keeping: Your renewal application is subject to a state audit. All licensed massage therapists will need to keep a record of attendance and any supporting documentation for at least three years from the date of attendance. During the license renewal application process, you will need to certify to the Georgia State Board of Massage Therapy that you have completed the hours required for license renewal.

The Perks of Continuing Education for Licensed Massage Therapists

Schools across Georgia offer stimulating, interactive new ways of learning different massage modalities. Massage therapy continuing education is a great way to learn something new and perhaps even introduce a modality you had not yet considered. Your employers and massage therapy clients also benefit from your additional education.

With so many choices, picking and settling on your twenty-four required CEs should be fun! Just don’t forget to file away your documentation in case of an audit!…

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Social Work Continuing Education Courses Can Make Your Job Easier

Social Work Continuing Education Courses Can Make Your Job Easier

Social workers who work in the medical field are a very important component of an effective healthcare team. It does not matter what kind of healthcare team or setting this person is employed in. Their role is to provide a source of comfort and support to patients, their families and other persons of interest that may need some sort of psychosocial support. This will enable the affected people to be able to deal with any issues that have stemmed from addiction, grief and illness. It is also their role to provide counseling to the caregivers of patients and help make plans for any patients that will need some form of continuing care after they are discharged from the hospital.

The median annual salary for this position that is in the medical field is approximately $54,000 and depending on who the employer is, size of the employer, credentials of the social worker and years of experience,; the median salary can vary quite a bit.

When making the decision to become a social worker, you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Although having a masters and PhD degree are quickly becoming the norm in order to be considered for many social worker positions. Social workers learn how to work with their patients. As their patients situations change and the nature of their problems evolve, taking social work continuing education classes are very helpful in providing the social worker with different ways to adapt.

One way the social worker uses the information that is gained from continuing education courses is by assessing a patient’s situation and their lifestyle, and then using this information to determine how well equipped the patient is able to adjust to living outside of a medical facility. If the patient is not competent enough or needs extra help, they will arrange for outside resources to help out. Before any of their patients are discharged from a healthcare facility, they will have put together a very through and detailed discharge plan that is coordinated with the patient’s healthcare providers. In addition to working with the patient’s healthcare providers, they can help put together and implement a plan where all of the providers are able to continue providing care for their patients and continue to provide communication between the doctors and patient so that the patient is receiving the therapy they need from the relationship.

Since the healthcare industry undergoes change and growth almost every minute, one way the social worker can keep up with all of the changes in technology, equipment, procedures and protocols is by attending social work continuing education classes. Through these courses they can make sure that they are implementing and using the proper criteria for assessing a patient’s needs and assigning and making the proper follow up care properly. Staying on top of the patient’s case will prevent any delays in the patient receiving effective treatment.…

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Continuing Education For Nurse Practitioners, RNs, LPNs, and More

Continuing Education For Nurse Practitioners, RNs, LPNs, and More

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when planning your continuing education for nurse registration/license renewal. Each state has its own specifications. Some allow nurses to substitute practice hours for contact hours. However, it can take hundreds of practice hours to achieve the number of required hours for CE.

In contrast, 24-30 contact hours every two years will fulfill licensing or registration requirements in many states. You can easily meet this minimum by taking a few hours at a time as the opportunity arises. Just be careful to select accredited courses that are recognized as valid in your state.

Your employer may host seminars/lectures or provide training as a standard feature of your job. This is a common benefit of working in large medical facilities. However, if you work for a small clinic or private practice you may not have this advantage. Fortunately, there are many affordable options for continuing education for nurse practitioners, RNs, LPNs and LVNs.

Paying for your own courses also gives you the freedom to select the subjects of your choice. Use these classes to fill gaps in your knowledge, open up new career opportunities, and ensure that your patients are receiving the best care you can offer. Employment related CE is usually tax deductible, so keep receipts for any courses you take.

What You Can Learn

There are thousands of possible options to choose from when it comes to continuing education. For nurse training that requires hands on demonstrations, you will need to attend in person. However, most of your contact hours can be earned through distance learning. Here are just a few of the subjects you can choose to study:

Pain management

Bio-terrorism preparedness

End of life care

Reducing medical errors

Ethics

HIV infection control

Wound care

You can also select courses related to specialties such as cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, and many more.

Ways to Take Courses

If you enjoy the give and take of a seminar, attending in person or via an audio-conference is ideal. That way, you can exchange ideas with other nurses and educators. However, a busy schedule may well keep you from attending classes. This isn’t unusual in the high-demand field of nursing where chronic understaffing abounds. In that case, you may prefer an online course that allows you to start and stop at your own convenience.

Online training is quickly becoming a favored method for continuing education. For nurse educators, it offers the ability to update course materials quickly. This ensures that you learn about the most current medical information and best practices – not what is contained in an outdated textbook. Some CEU providers allow you to take courses before you pay for them. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate the quality of the material free of charge. Of course, to get your certificate showing your credit hours you do have to complete the payment process.…