Enroll in the course thats right for you.

1. For Non-Exempt Preparers: Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course: 6 credit hours

i) Comprehensive, clear online course: The 6-hour AFTR course is designed to ensure your training is current on general filing season concepts, the latest tax updates, and to reinforce learning in areas identified by the IRS as having caused preparers difficulty in the previous tax season. It is followed by a standardized 100-question IRS-approved comprehension test.
ii) Relax! We’ll make sure you’re fully prepared. The test must be completed in 3 hours or less, and two attempts maximum are allowed to obtain a passing score.
iii) To view the current AFTR course outline, click here.

2. Selected Federal Tax Topics: 10 credit hours

i) In-depth studies of selected Federal tax issues. The topics included:
a) Gain Or Loss on The Sale or Exchange of Property
b) Basis
c) Capital Gains
d) Business Deductions
e) Business and Casualty Losses
f) Bad Debts
g) Tax Credits.
ii) Self-Practice Quizzes: following each section: review the material and check your progress by responding to realistic scenarios. Instant feedback will help you rapidly assess your progress.
iii) Exam: Take online for instant grading and CPE credit certification.

3. Ethics: 2 credit hours

i) Study Guide: Regulations Governing the Practice of Tax Practitioners.
ii) Exam: Take online for instant grading and CPE credit certification, or submit via email or regular mail if desired.
The IRS Annual Filing Season Program aims to recognize the efforts of return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism. Those who choose to participate can meet the requirements by obtaining 18 hours of continuing education, including a six hour federal tax law refresher course with test. Upon completion of the requirements, the return preparer receives an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion from the IRS.

How Do You Get an AFSP – Record of Completion?
• Complete an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course (unless exempt – see below).
• Earn specified continuing education (CE) credits – see below
• Obtain or renew a PTIN

Continuing Education Requirements
In general, non-exempt return preparers with a valid PTIN for the program year will need to complete 18 hours of CE annually from IRS-approved CE providers to obtain an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion.

Non-Exempt – 18 Total CE Hours
> 6 CE Hours – AFTR Course and Test
> 10 CE Hours – Federal Tax Law
> 2 CE Hours – Ethics

Exempt – 15 Total CE Hours
> 3 CE Hours – Tax Law Updates
> 10 CE Hours – Federal Tax Law
> 2 CE Hours – Ethics

Who Is Exempt From the AFTR Course Requirements?

  • RTRPs who passed the – now discontinued – Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) test.
  • Participants in state-based return preparer programs such as the California Tax Education Council, Oregon Board of Tax Practitioner, or Maryland State Board of Individual Tax Preparers.
  • Tax practitioners who have passed the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) Part I within the past two years.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program reviewers and instructors.
  • Tax practitioners who have passed the Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA) exam or the ATP exam offered by the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation.
  • CPAs, Attorneys, Enrolled Agents, and Enrolled Actuaries

Note: No CE credit will be given to Enrolled Agents for completing the AFTR course.

What are the benefits?
Inclusion in the public database on the IRS website.
AFSP participants will be included in the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications public database on the IRS website. The IRS intends to launch a public education campaign in 2015 encouraging taxpayers to select return preparers carefully and seek those with professional credentials or other select qualifications.

Represent Your Clients!
Beginning in 2016, only those categories listed in the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications will have the right to represent clients before the IRS. This includes returns the tax practitioner prepared. Non-credential tax preparers with an AFSP-Record of Completion will have limited representation rights. Attorneys, CPAs, and Enrolled Agents will continue to have full representation rights and can represent clients before any office of the IRS.

PTIN holders without an AFSP – Record of Completion or other professional credential will only be permitted to prepare tax returns. They will not be allowed to represent clients before the IRS.