AFSP is the voluntary program of the IRS that aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism. It also allows tax return preparers to be listed in an official IRS database alongside other practitioners with recognized credentials and other qualifications, such as CPAs, attorneys, and Enrolled Agents. This database is set up to educate consumers who utilize tax preparers to complete their returns and provides them with some level of assurance that the tax preparers listed are up-to-date on current tax laws and have met certain educational requirements.
Preparers who passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer exam or those who hold credentials (CPA and EA) are exempt from having to complete the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course in order to get listed in the IRS directory. However, those exempt individuals must still complete Continuing Education in order to apply for their Record of Completion for 2016.
The Annual Filing Season Program aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed tax return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism.
AFSP participants are included in a public database of return preparers on the IRS website. In addition, the IRS launched a public education campaign in January 2015 encouraging taxpayers to select return preparers carefully and seek those with professional credentials or other select qualifications. Beginning January 1, 2016, there will be changes to the representation rights of return preparers. Annual Filing Season Program participants will have limited representation rights; meaning they can 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). PTIN holders without an AFSP - Record of Completion will only be permitted to prepare tax returns. They will not be allowed to represent clients before the IRS.
To receive a Record of Completion from the IRS, you must Take 18 hours of continuing education from IRS-Approved CE Providers, including • a 6 hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course that covers filing season issues and tax law updates, as well as a knowledge-based comprehension test administered at the end of the course; • 10 hours of other federal tax law topics; and • 2 hours of ethics. Have an active preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Consent to adhere to specific practice obligations outlined in Subpart B and Section 10.51 of Treasury Department Circular No. 230.
Most first-time PTIN applicants can obtain a PTIN online in about 15 minutes. The fee is $64.25. First, you must create an account. Go to the IRS PTIN System and
click on the link under "New User" to create an account. Follow the prompts to complete the account setup process.
First, log in to your online PTIN account. On the Main Menu, next to "PTIN Renewal", click on "Select" and then follow the prompts to complete your online renewal.
Go to the IRS PTIN System. On the top left side of the page under "Returning User", enter your User ID and Password in the designated fields. Then click "Sign In". If you are having trouble remembering your User ID or Password, click on the appropriate link.
When PTIN renewal season begins in October, a Record of Completion will be generated by the IRS once all requirements have been met, including renewal of your PTIN for 2016 and consent to the Circular 230 obligations.
Those who passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer test are exempt from the 6 hour federal tax law refresher course with test. To receive the AFSP - Record of Completion, they must complete 15 hours of continuing education in tax related subjects from IRS-approved CE Providers.
No. Gleim reports them for you.
Credits are electronically reported to the IRS every Tuesday provided you entered your PTIN number prior to course completion.