The IRS’ Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is a voluntary program designed to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism. In general, nonexempt return preparers with a valid PTIN must complete 18 hours of continuing education, including a six-hour federal Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course with a test. Upon completion of the requirements, the return preparer receives an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion from the IRS.
The AFSP is not intended for credentialed preparers who already possess a much higher level of qualification; however, credentialed preparers who seek to participate in the program must meet the same requirements as those preparers in the exempt category.
The IRS created the Chart of Annual Filing Season Program CE Requirements to help exempt and non-exempt tax return preparers determine the amount and type of annual continuing education needed. You can access that chart by clicking here.
Click here for an Annual Filing Season Program FAQ.
Note: According to the IRS, the continuing education credit hours for this course do not qualify for Enrolled Agents.
You can access our AFTR course here.
Once you complete all Continuing Education requirements and renewal of your PTIN you will need to log into your PTIN account and complete the process. The final step is for you to consent to adhere to specific practice obligations outlined in Subpart B and section 10.51 of Treasury Department Circular 230. Note: It may take a week after your CE has been reported to the IRS before the consent language appears in your PTIN account.
This is a REQUIRED step to be in the Program and receive your Record of Completion. Participation in the program will also grant you limited representation rights.
The IRS explains the consent process in the following video:
Within a couple of days, your Record of Completion will show up in your PTIN inbox. You can download and print your certificate.
Preparers who complete the AFSP will also be included in a public directory on IRS.gov (click here to access the directory) for taxpayers to use in searching for qualified tax return preparers. Note: it may take up to four weeks after the IRS receives an update for a tax return preparer’s information to be added or revised in the directory.