Difference between the EA designation and AFSP – Record of Completion?

Question: What is the difference between the EA designation and the AFSP – Record of Completion?

Answer: An EA is a credentialed tax return preparer and can represent anyone before the IRS.In addition, if you are already a CPA or hold some other accounting designation, having your EA will allow you to advertise your tax expertise.

The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is a voluntary program designed to encourage tax return preparers to participate in continuing education (CE) courses. Un-enrolled and un-credentialed return preparers can elect to voluntarily take continuing education each year in preparation for filing season and receive an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion.