Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - University of Illinois Tax School
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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  1. Is the Tax School Office affiliated with a University?
    The Tax School is sponsored by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at Urbana-Champaign.
  2. How many years has the Tax School been in business?
    • Tax School is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2020! Since 1940, the University of Illinois has sponsored annual Tax Schools.
    • The program began as basic taxation instruction for farmers who prepared their own taxes.
    • Over the years, it evolved into a professional continuing education program for income tax practitioners, and includes both farm and non-farm taxation content.
    • Annually, approximately 6,000 practitioners attend Illinois Tax School seminars. See About Us for further information about the University of Illinois Tax School and its history.
  3. I'm in a wheelchair (or have other special needs). How do I arrange for assistance at the seminar? (Not Applicable for 2020)
    Individuals who need special accommodations should contact the Tax School Office at (217) 333-0502 at least two weeks prior to the event.
  4. Is there a dress code for in-person events? (Not Applicable for 2020)
    There is no dress code. Meeting room temperatures may vary so layered clothing is recommended for comfort.
  5. I need to be able to take calls while I'm at the seminar. Is there a problem if I bring a cell phone? (Not Applicable for 2020)
    • All electronic devices must be silenced.
    • Participants who need to provide a method for being contacted in an emergency may use the facilities phone number. Facility phone numbers are included on the page for locations.
    • Participants whose electronic devices make noise during instruction will be asked to leave the room.
  6. Are my personal belongings safe in the meeting room during lunch breaks and overnight? (Not Applicable for 2020)
    • No. It is best not to leave personal belongings unattended in meeting rooms during lunch breaks or overnight. Tax School is not responsible for items left unattended.
    • Participants are encouraged to write their names in the workbook to avoid confusion over workbook ownership.
  7. Are Tax School seminars only offered online?
    • In response to COVID-19, all Tax School seminars will offered online in 2020
    • Historically, Tax School has provided a mixture of in-person and online seminars.

CPE Credit

NASBA Accredited Continuing Education Provider LogoUniversity of Illinois Tax School is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

IRS-Approved Continuing Education Provider LogoThe Tax School has been approved as an IRS Continuing Education Provider. Tax preparers should always look for IRS approved providers when fulfilling their continuing education requirements.

Visit for more information.

  1. When will I receive my Certificate of Attendance for CPE purposes?
    Every effort will be made to issue Certificates of Attendance in a timely manner. In most cases, certificates are emailed within 4 weeks of the seminar. For self-study courses, CPE certificates are emailed within 2-3 business days.
  2. Why does my CPE certificate contain less than the full amount of hours of credit hours printed on it?
    • In-person seminars: (Not Applicable for 2020)
      • The credits earned reported on your CPE Certificate are calculated based on the times scanned on the Verification of Attendance Card turned in at the seminar.
      • Scanned cards record late arrivals and/or early departures, and this is reflected in the total hours of CPE credit awarded.
      • Attendance verification cards left on tables or turned in by people other than the participant are voided and no credit is awarded for that day.
    • Online seminars and webinars:
      • Per NASBA requirements, the credits earned reported on your CPE certificate are based upon your time in session plus responses to poll questions, as reported by the webinar software. In addition to being present for 50 instructional minutes per CPE credit, you must respond to a certain number of poll questions per 50 minutes. Please note that a correct response to the question is not required, just that you respond.
  3. I forgot to turn my Verification of Attendance Card in at the school, but I attended the entire day. Can I just send the card to the Tax School Office for CPE credit? (Not Applicable for 2020)
    No. In order to maintain the integrity of the CPE process, cards are only accepted at the school location. There are no exceptions to this.
  4. Can I purchase the materials only and still get the CPE credit?
    Participants who elect to purchase the seminar materials and NOT attend the seminar have not earned CPE credit.
  5. I'm an insurance professional with an Illinois license. Will I receive a separate certificate for the Illinois Department of Insurance?
    There is no separate Insurance CPE Certificate. Hours for insurance professionals are reported directly to the Illinois Department of Insurance in accordance with their requirements. You may use the CPE certificate that was sent to you to verify attendance at the seminar.
  6. I'm an insurance professional with a license from a state other than Illinois. Will I receive a separate certificate for the Department of Insurance in my state?
    No. The University of Illinois Tax School is not registered as a CPE provider with Departments of Insurance for states other than Illinois. If you would like to request that Tax School consider adding your state, please email
  7. Why is an extra fee charged for IL Insurance CPE, CFP, and MCLE credit?
    Due to additional fees the University of Illinois must pay to the IL Department of Insurance, the CFP Board of Standards, and the MCLE Board, an additional filing fee is charged to offset these expenses. Because these fees are associated with a small percentage of participants, it is appropriate to offset the expenses and charge individuals needing these credits a nominal filing fee. Please note: University of Illinois Tax School files individual student CPE to the IL Department of Insurance, the CFP Board of Standards, and the IL MCLE Board. Students should keep their certificates for their records in case of an audit by their professional agency.
  8. I need to renew my PTIN by the end of the year. Will my credits be sent to the IRS so I can renew my PTIN?
    Yes. If requested, the University of Illinois Tax School electronically submits credits directly to the IRS within 10 business days of the seminar. You will also receive a CPE certificate emailed to the address associated with your name. You do not need to submit anything to the IRS unless you are asked to verify your credit in an IRS audit. Please note: you must include your PTIN in your Tax School account in order for Tax School to file your credits with the IRS.
  9. When I tried to renew my PTIN, the IRS indicated my credits were not submitted for the seminar I attended. Why?
    The University of Illinois Tax School electronically submits credits directly to the IRS within 10 business days of the seminar, as long as you requested that we report your credits and you have provided your PTIN. The name that you use to register for a Tax School seminar MUST match the name that is on file with the IRS. There may have been a problem submitting your credits because your PTIN and name did not match with the IRS records. If the IRS has a PTIN name that is different from the name you used to register for the seminar, the credits cannot be recorded. For example, if your PTIN first name is Thomas, and your seminar registration first name is Tom, this would cause a problem with submission. If it has been longer than 10 business days since the seminar date, please call the Tax School Office at 217-333-0502 to determine the cause of the submission problem.
  10. Why do the hours filed not match the emailed certificate I received?
    The IRS and the IL Department of Insurance do not recognize partial hours of credit. Consequently, Tax School must round partial credit hours down when submitting credits to these agencies.
  11. I'm a CFP. Why did my credits not get filed with the CFP Board?
    Per CFP Board requirements, attendees requesting CFP credit must attend the seminar in its entirety to receive any credit for the seminar. Please contact the CFP Board directly if you have any questions regarding this CFP Board policy or if you wish to ask for a waiver of this policy. Please note: the ethics portion of instruction on Day 1 qualifies for CFP general CPE, not CFP "Ethics" CPE.
  12. My MCLE certificate doesn't include the number of credits I expected.
    In accordance with the Illinois MCLE Board standards, MCLE credits are granted based on a 60-minute hour. All other agencies grant credit based on a 50-minute hour.
  13. Do you need my membership number to file CPE credit for me?
    In order for Tax School to file professional credits on your behalf, students must include their appropriate membership numbers in their Tax School account:
    • NPN for IL Department of Insurance
    • CFP number for CFP Board of Standards
    • ARDC for the IL MCLE Board
    • PTIN for IRS reporting
    Failure to include the membership number that corresponds with your filing may result in delayed filing and/or extra charges. Please note: some agencies place time restrictions on when filings can be completed, so belated filings due to missing membership number may not always be possible.


  1. What is included in the price of the seminar?
    • In-person seminars:
      • The registration fee includes tuition, seminar materials, and refreshment breaks.
      • For certain in-depth seminars, a breakfast and light lunch are included in the registration fee. For Fall Tax School, light snacks are included, but lunch is "on your own."
      • Sleeping rooms are not included in the seminar fee. If a sleeping room is desired, contact the hotel/conference center to make reservations. Blocks of rooms are not reserved, but if you mention you are attending the Tax School seminars, you may receive priority for reservations.
    • Online seminars and webinars:
      • The registration fee includes tuition and seminar materials (digital and/or printed, depending on the seminar/webinar).
      • All registrants will receive an archived recording of the entire online seminar or webinar, accessible via their Tax School account.


  1. I missed the in-person seminar today. Can I still get a refund? (Not Applicable for 2020)
    • To qualify for a full refund, the Tax School Office must be notified at least 10 business days prior to the seminar. Between 10 business days and 1 business day before the seminar, you have your choice of a coupon for 100% of the registration amount that can be used for another Tax School seminar, or a 50% refund.
    • If we are still offering the seminar in other locations, you may transfer your registration to another location if space allows.
    • You may transfer your registration to someone else to attend in your place.
    • Please see the complete refund policy for all requirements or limitations.
  2. Can I get a refund if it snows on the day of an in-person seminar? (Not Applicable for 2020)
    • In-person seminars are rarely, if ever, cancelled due to inclement weather. If the Tax School Office cancels a seminar because of inclement weather, every effort is made to satisfy registrants.
  3. I could not log in to my scheduled online seminar/webinar today. Can I still get a refund?
    • No refunds are provided after 24 hours prior to an online seminar/webinar's scheduled start time. Log-in and testing information are sent several days prior to the session, as well as the morning of the session, and it is the participant's responsibility to ensure that their computer and Internet access support the webinar software prior to the start of the webinar.
    • If we are offering the same online seminar/webinar on a later date, you may transfer as space allows.
    • Please see the complete refund policy.

Registration Process

  1. What are the deadlines for receiving a discounted early registration fee?
    The early registration deadline date published on the Tax School website and in the printed brochures is the deadline for receiving a discounted registration.
    1. Online Registration: Online registration payment transactions must be completed no later than 11:59 PM Central Time on the early registration deadline date.
    2. Faxed Registration: Registration forms faxed with a valid credit card number must be received by our fax machine no later than 11:59 PM Central Time on the early registration deadline date.
    3. Mailed Registration: Completed registration forms with complete payment must be postmarked by the early registration deadline date.
    The Tax School is not responsible for any online or fax machine technical errors nor postmark delays; there are no exceptions to this policy.
  2. How do I register online for seminars?
    • If you don't already have a Tax School account, you will need to create one in order to register.
    • Click here to register.
    • Payment by credit card is the only payment option for online registration.
  3. How do I know your website registration process is secure and safe for using my credit card?
    • In order to assure that your order is handled safely and securely, your web browser must be capable of handling encrypted transactions. You should be using one of the following web browsers: Chrome, FireFox, Edge, or Safari.
    • When going through checkout, look for the lock symbol in your browser status bar. This means you are in a secure environment.
  4. How will I know if my credit card payment was accepted?
    • You will see a confirmation page at the end of registration. Please print this screen if you need a receipt for your records.
    • An email confirmation of the charge to your credit card is sent to the email address you provide in your registration. This confirms that your credit card was charged the registration fee.
  5. How will the charge for the seminar appear on my credit card statement?
    The charge appears as "UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS", "U OF IL WB PAYMENTS", or "ONLINE, URBANA, IL 217-244-9384" on your credit card billing statement.
  6. How can I register and pay with a credit card if I don't want to use the online registration?
    Complete a paper copy of the registration form, then either fax it to (217) 244-5933 or mail it to the Tax School Office. Please do not mail a registration which has also been faxed because this could result in a duplicate charge to your credit card.
  7. I have 10 people from our firm who wish to attend the seminars. Do I need to register each one separately?
    Yes. In order to prevent delays in processing your registrations and getting placement in the locations of choice, a separate registration form needs to be completed for each participant whether registering on the website or using the printed registration form in the brochure (photocopies are welcomed).
  8. May I register now and send you payment later?
    • No. Forms received without payment are not processed.
    • Registration is not complete and seats are not reserved until payment is processed.
  9. The seminar I wish to attend starts in a few days. Can I just pay at the door? (Not Applicable for 2020)
    • Registrations are accepted at seminar locations if space is available.
    • Space for "walk-ins" cannot be guaranteed. Many locations fill to capacity and close.
    • "Walk-in" participants may pay at the door by cash, check or credit card.
    • "Walk-in" participants should arrive early in order to complete the registration process and obtain their materials prior to the seminar start time.
    • No discounts are available at the door.
  10. Two people from my office want to attend a 2-day seminar, but each can only attend one day of the seminar. Can these people split a registration, and each get CPE credit?
    For the 2-day Fall Tax School, each person can register for the seminar day or days that best meet their needs. For 2-day in-depth seminars, splitting a registration is not allowed. All attendees must be fully registered; "observers" who have not registered are not permitted.


  1. How can I find out which instructors will be teaching?
    Check Seminar Instructors.

Seminar Dates and Locations

  1. Why isn't the seminar date or location I wish to attend shown on the location drop-down list?
    • Registrants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the seminar location or online session has reached capacity. When a location or date does not appear on the drop-down list, it has filled to capacity.
    • You will need to choose another location.
  2. How will I be notified of the location or date for which I have registered?
    • A transaction confirmation email with the seminar name, date, and location will be sent to the email address associated with your Tax School account.
    • Reminder emails for all in-person and online seminars and webinars are sent out to all registered attendees several days prior to each event.
  3. How do I change my seminar location or date?
    Please call the Tax School office at 217-333-0502 or use our contact form to determine whether it is possible to change your seminar location. Every effort will be made to accommodate changes.
  4. Is there a charge to change seminar locations or dates?
    There is no fee charged when you need to change locations within a seminar. If you are switching to a different seminar or registration package, or if your registration included a shipped workbook that needs to be returned, additional fees may be incurred.
  5. Can I mix and match my 2020 Fall Tax School online dates and times?
    Although we offer Fall Tax School as a 2-day online seminar mirroring our traditional live format, you may choose from full-day, mornings-only, and afternoons-only sessions for your day 1 and day 2 registrations to build your ideal format. You can also choose to register for only one of the days if you'd prefer.

Seminar Materials

  1. I registered several weeks ago and have not received my materials.
    • In-person seminars: A printed workbook for all seminars is obtained at the seminar location. Please arrive early to pick up your materials.
    • Online seminars: For some online seminars, a printed workbook will be shipped via UPS in advance; the exact timeline varies. It is important to verify that we have a valid shipping address on file, as Tax School cannot be held accountable for books that are returned due to a wrong address on file. Please note: we cannot ship to PO boxes.
  2. I registered late. How will I get my Tax School Workbook?
    For 2020 Fall Tax School, everyone who registers on or before October 20 is guaranteed to receive their volume(s) of the Federal Tax Workbook prior to their online seminar date (as long as the address on file is accurate). Anyone who registers after October 20 is still guaranteed to receive their book(s), but may not receive them prior to the online seminar date. All registrants will have access to the Federal Tax Workbook digitally, via their Tax School account.
  3. I was unable to attend my scheduled seminar. What do I need to do to receive the materials?
    Please contact the Tax School Office at (217) 333-0502 or email a request to have your registration changed to "Materials Only." Your materials will be shipped to you after the conclusion of the Fall Tax School season. Usually materials are shipped by the second week of January.
  4. What resource materials will I receive if I attend the Fall Tax School and when will I receive them?
    • You will receive a printed workbook for each seminar you attend. The workbook is provided at check-in (for in-person seminars) or is shipped via UPS (for online seminars).
    • You will also receive access to a digital version of the workbook, as well as a digital version of PowerPoint handouts, approximately 2-3 days before the seminar, in case you wish to download them to a notebook computer or other electronic device for use during the seminar.
    • Updates to the workbook are available on the downloads page.
    • IRS publications are readily available on the Internet for those who would like a copy. The IRS website address is

Webinars and Online Seminars

  1. What is a webinar?
    Tax School topic-specific webinars are seminars held online. Usually webinars are held in 1–3 hour sessions on a specific topic. During a webinar, you will see a screen of content as well as a video feed of your presenter on your computer, and you will hear the presenter through your computer speakers. Webinars are interactive in that they allow participants to ask questions through a live chat feature (sort of like texting or instant messaging).
  2. What is an online seminar?
    An online seminar is held online and is typically longer and more in-depth than a webinar (as explained above). Online seminars are typically 8-16 CPE credits, held either in day-long sessions or several sessions spread over a few days. The exact schedule depends on the online seminar details. During an online seminar, you will see a screen of content, as well as a video feed of your presenter on your computer, and you will hear the presenter through your computer speakers. Online seminars are interactive in that they allow participants to ask questions through a live chat feature (sort of like texting or instant messaging).
  3. What type of computer connection do I need in order to participate in an online seminar or webinar?
    In order to have the best online seminar or webinar experience, your computer should be connected to the Internet with a high-speed connection (DSL, cable modem, FIOS). Dial-up service is too slow for webinar purposes and will not provide a good experience for you. You should be using a desktop or laptop computer. A hard-wired Internet connection is recommended if possible.
  4. I signed up for an online seminar or webinar... now what? University of Illinois online semianrs and webinars are provided using the BigMarker platform. Several days prior to the session, you will receive access to the webinar platform in order to test your computer system before the webinar. Please test your system well in advance of the webinar. Full testing instructions can be found here.
  5. When should I join the online seminar or webinar?
    • If this is the first time you've participated in a Tax School seminar or webinar, we suggest you log into the webinar 15 minutes prior to the start time. This gives you plenty of time to work through any technical problems that may arise.
  6. Will I earn CPE credit for attending an online seminar or webinar?
    • Free webinars do not provide CPE. For paid online seminars and webinars, you will earn one CPE credit based on being present in the session for a minimum of 50 minutes of instructional time, and answering polling questions throughout.
    • The U of I Tax School is accredited by NASBA for online delivery of seminars. Any professional organization or state credentialing body that recognizes NASBA approval for continuing education accepts the credit earned from the webinar.
  7. Will I get a CPE certificate?
    CPE certificates are sent electronically to the email address that is on record with the U of I Tax School within 3 weeks of the online seminar or webinar. If you are not sure your email is correct in our system, you may login to your Tax School account and check it. Or, you may contact the Tax School team for assistance at 217-333-0502 or during regular business hours.
  8. I had problems logging in to my scheduled online seminar or webinar today. Can I still get a refund?
    • No refunds are provided beginning 24 hours prior to an online seminar or webinar's scheduled start time. Testing information is sent several days prior to the online seminar or webinar, and it is the participant's responsibility to ensure that their computer and Internet access support the webinar software prior to the start of the session.
    • If we are repeating the same online seminar or webinar on a later date, you may transfer to this session as space allows.
    • Please see the complete refund policy.
  9. I missed part of my online seminar today. Can I make up the time during another seminar?
    No. Due to the online format, if you miss part of a session for any reason, you will be unable to make up the time in another session.
  10. A group of people from my firm want to take the online seminar or webinar together. Do we each need to register separately? Will we all receive CPE credit?
    Yes, you may take the online seminar/webinar together in a group setting, as long as certain procedures are followed:
    1. Each person should register for Fall Tax School like normal (online, mail, or fax). Everyone participating in group viewing must register for the same Day 1 and Day 2 sessions.
    2. At least 1 week prior to the start of the online seminar or webinar, a representative from the firm must contact Tax School ( or 217-333-0502) with the following:
      1. A list of all participating employees, including first name, last name, and email address
      2. The dates & times of the sessions that the staff will be attending
      3. The name of the person who will be monitoring attendance for the firm
    3. Tax School will then provide a sign-in sheet to the attendance monitor. That person will be responsible for having all employees sign-in and mark their arrival and departure times, as well as collect employee signatures at the end of the seminar.
    4. The attendance monitor will also sign to confirm accuracy.
    5. The sign-in sheet must be returned to Tax School within 1 business day of the conclusion of the online seminar or webinar.
    All registered employees will receive their own set of materials and login instructions; however, only one person in the room needs to login for the live online seminar or webinar. When participating as a group, the poll questions do not have to be answered in the live online seminar or webinar. Please note: this only applies if the firm has made arrangements with Tax School in advance, as outlined above. Upon receipt of the completed sign-in sheet, Tax School will proceed with calculating, awarding, and reporting CPE credit for each person in the group viewing session.

Information Sharing and Security

We do not rent or sell your personally identifying information to other companies or individuals. We may share information in any of the following limited circumstances:

  1. We have your consent.
  2. We conclude that we are required by law or have a good faith belief that access, preservation or disclosure of such information is reasonably necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of the Tax School, its users, or the public.

We take appropriate security measures to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of data.

We restrict access to your personally identifying information to employees who need to know that information in order to operate, develop or improve our services.

It's always good practice to NOT use the same password for multiple websites. Because some Internet websites are affected by this vulnerability, if you do use common passwords for multiple websites, please take the time to update and change your passwords appropriately, including changing the password you use for Tax School. Change Your Tax School password now

Book Purchases

  1. I ordered a book and it is damaged. What should I do?
    If you purchased a book from the U of I Tax School and it was damaged during shipping or is otherwise defective, please contact us immediately at 217-333-0502 so that we can provide you with a replacement book. The damaged book must be returned to U of I Tax School.
  2. I have ordered a book but have not yet received it. Is it too late to cancel my order?
    You might be able to cancel your book order if we have not yet processed your order for shipment. To find out if a cancellation is possible, please call us at 217-333-0502 during regular business hours.
  3. How do I return a book that I purchased?
    If you purchased a book from us and would like to return it for any reason other than shipping damage or product defect, please note the following conditions and fees:
    1. You must contact our office within 10 business days of receipt of the book in order to request a refund.
    2. The book must be in new condition, must be unused and unopened, and must show no creases in the cover. If we find the book has been used, a refund will not be provided and your book will be returned to you.
    3. Once we receive the book, and if the above two conditions are met, then a refund minus a $15 restocking fee will be issued via your original method of payment. Please allow 3-6 weeks for your refund to be processed.
    4. You are responsible for any shipping fees when returning a book to Tax School.

Resolving Complaints

  1. How can I resolve a complaint about Tax School?

Last updated 9/25/2020 12:59:34 PM