Have you every had an idea stuck in your head to later realize that you are wrong?
I am an Enrolled Agent and have been since 2003. Officially, it means that I am allowed to act for a client (with a power of attorney in place) with the IRS. For most clients, this is something I will never be called to do. For them, my EA status means that I have shown tax knowledge by passing (on the first try) a in depth test on taxes and IRS procedures. Since then, I have maintained my knowledge with continuing education (CPE). Lots of continuing ed.
My new EA card came in the mail today and I was very happy to see it. Back in October, I realized that I had messed up on my CPEs. I am required to take 72 hours of CPE over the 3 year renewal period. Six of those hours need to be in ethics. This is a new requirement but I thought I was okay until I checked my CPEs in October. I had always thought that 2 of the hours I was getting at the Kansas Tax Institute was for ethics and assumed I was compliant there. But as I was going through my CPE certificates, I realized that what I actually received was 0.5 hours. It makes sense in hindsight, we never spent 2 hours talking about ethic. Only 30 minutes was generally scheduled. But I had it in my head and logic didn't apply. The bottom line was that for 2005, I was 1.5 hours short. I was okay for 2006 because I had left that workshop early because of weather and and missed the ethics portion and made it up with another class. An e-mail to the Office of Professional Responsibility sent me scrabbling for ethics continuing ed to make up for 2005 and finish my 2007 requirement. The idea was to make sure that I had all my requirements for the enrollment period and send a letter explaining my situation with my renewal application.
I ended up with 141 total and 7.5 ethics hours but I have still been a little concerned that being so short on ethic ed for that year would hurt me. But I now have one less thing to worry about. I am okay until 2011 without limits. And I have learned my lesson about assuming I remember something especially when to doesn't seem correct.