Set Yourself APART from Unqualified Competitors and Secure Your Representation Rights

The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is an annual voluntary IRS tax training program for return preparers. It aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism.

2017 Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) Non-Exempt Package

Non-exempt 18-Hour Bundle with AFTR Course – $89

Automatically includes the following:

  • 6 hour AFTR course
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Ethics
  • Identity Theft
  • YOU choose 2 remaining Federal Tax Law topics!

2017 Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) Exempt Package

Exempt 15-Hour Bundle – $69

Automatically includes the following:

  • Federal Tax Law Updates
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Ethics
  • Identity Theft
  • YOU choose 2 remaining Federal Tax Law topics!

Advantages of the AFSP – Record of Completion (Learn More)

IMPORTANT:

The AFTR is a short federal tax refresher course for experienced tax preparers and will not enable a person who is not an experienced tax preparer to learn how to prepare income tax returns. If you are interested in becoming a tax preparer, you should consider the Comprehensive Tax Course.

How Do I Qualify for the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP)?

  • You must have an active PTIN.
  • You must complete 18 hours of continuing education (CE) by December 31st annually, using an IRS Approved Provider.
  • You must sign the IRS Circular 230 – Consent Form. Learn more

Here is the breakdown of credit hours for non-credentialed/non-exempt or unenrolled preparers who want an AFSP – Record of Completion:

  • 18 hours of CE annually from an IRS Approved Provider include the following:
    • 6 hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course with a comprehension test
    • 10 hours of Federal tax law topics
    • 2 hours of Ethics education

Am I Exempt from the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course?

Tax return preparers who have successfully completed one of the following national or state tests would be exempt from taking the AFTR course with a comprehension test.

  • Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRP)
  • Oregon/California and other state based return preparer testing programs
  • Accredited Tax Preparers through Accreditation Council for Accountancy/Taxation
  • Part 1 of the Special Enrollment Exam during 2 year eligibility window
  • Successful VITA program reviewers and instructors

What If I’m a Credentialed Tax Professional or in the Exempt Group Above and Want to Qualify for the Annual Filing Season Program?

Credentialed tax professionals (CPAs, attorneys, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents, and Enrolled Actuaries) or the exempt group listed in the section above must have 15 hours of CE from an IRS Approved Provider to qualify for the AFSP annually. No CE credit will be given to Enrolled Agents for completing an AFTR course.

  • Credentialed or Exempted Tax Preparers must complete 15 hours of CE annually from an IRS Approved Provider to qualify the AFSP.
  • The 15 hours of CE includes the following:
    • 3 hours of Federal tax updates
    • 10 hours of Federal tax law topics
    • 2 hours of Ethics education

Still not sure if you are exempt or non-exempt?


5 Advantages of the AFSP – Record of Completion

  1. Representing your Clients
    • Beginning 2016, there will be changes to the representation rights of return preparers.
      • PTIN holders without an AFSP Record of Completion or other professional credential are only permitted to prepare tax returns. AFSP participants will have limited representation rights, able to represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. If you can’t represent your client when they need you most, you could lose them to a competitor who can!
      • Attorneys, CPAs, and EAs continue with unlimited representation rights, able to represent their clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues, and appeals.
  2. FREE Marketing
    • All tax return preparers who successfully complete the AFSP will be listed on the IRS Federal Tax Return Preparers Directory. This list is being marketed to taxpayers as of January 2015 through a public education campaign. The campaign encourages taxpayers to select return preparers carefully and seek those with professional credentials or other select qualifications. The list or directory is there to help taxpayers determine who is qualified to prepare their taxes. “This new directory will be a practical tool for the millions of Americans who rely on the services of a paid return preparer.” – IRS Commissioner John Koskinen
  3. Promote Your Credentials
    • Completing the voluntary IRS tax training program will give you the ability to market yourself as a credentialed preparer. One way to promote that you have completed the program is by adding, “as seen on IRS.gov” to your email signature, business cards, or other promotional materials.
  4. Certificate from the IRS
    • Upon completing the IRS Annual Filing Season Program, you will receive a record of completion. This is another great way to promote your qualifications as a tax preparer.
  5. Set Yourself Apart
    • Taking the AFSP will allow you to prove that you are a qualified preparer. There are over 400,000 tax preparers who chose not to complete the IRS tax training program. You can set yourself apart and have the means to show that you are qualified to prepare taxes by completing the program, receiving a record of completion, and adding your name to the official IRS Directory.