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.
The Annual Filing Season Program also allows tax return preparers to be listed in an official IRS database alongside other practitioners with recognized credentials and 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 assurance that the tax preparers listed are up-to-date on current tax laws and have met certain educational requirements.
Tax return preparers who earn the Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion will enjoy continued representation rights. As of January 1, 2016, only tax preparers who have received a Record of Completion are eligible to represent their clients before the IRS.
The Annual Filing Season Program aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed tax return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism.
What are the advantages of obtaining an AFSP - Record of Completion?
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.
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 and adhere to specific practice obligations outlined in Subpart B and Section 10.51 of Treasury Department Circular No. 230.
Do I need to retake the AFSP every year?
Yes, the Annual Filing Season Program must be completed yearly to maintain recognition.
When do I need to complete my AFSP and other relevant continuing education?
Courses must be completed by midnight (customer’s local time), December 31st of the current calendar year in order for the IRS to recognize your credentials for the following year.
How do I sign up for a new PTIN?
Most first-time PTIN applicants can obtain a PTIN online in about 15 minutes. There is no fee for obtaining or renewing your PTIN. 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.
How do I renew my PTIN?
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.
How do I access my online IRS PTIN account?
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.
How and when will I get my Record of Completion?
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 2022 and consent to the Circular 230 obligations.
What about individuals who passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer test?
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.
Do I have to report my CE credits to the IRS?
No. Gleim reports them for you as long as you provide your PTIN prior to course completion.
When does Gleim report my CE credits to the IRS?
Credits are electronically reported to the IRS every Tuesday provided you entered your PTIN number prior to course completion.