The IRS recently announced a voluntary program that allows tax return preparers to file to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program, which is targeted toward unenrolled return preparers.
The course was established by the IRS as a "step to help protect taxpayers during the 2015 filing season," according to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The largest benefit of purchasing the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course offered by Gleim is that upon completion, you are eligible to have your name listed in the 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 provide 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 have completed certain other exams (CPA and Special Enrollment Exams) 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 8 hours of Continuing Education in order to apply for their Record of Completion for 2015. View the Gleim AFSP CE Bundle for AFTR-Exempt Tax Preparers.