The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism. Those who choose to participate can meet the requirements by following 4 steps:
1. Complete 12 CPE credits: 2 Ethics; 10 Federal Tax Law (Tax Talk Today Provides)
2. Complete Annual Federal Tax Refresher course and test (Tax Talk Today Provides)
3. The return preparer must also renew their IRS preparer tax identification number (PTIN) for the upcoming year.
4. Consent to adhere to the obligations in Circular 230, Subpart B and section 10.51.
(IRS website instructions)
ALL 4 STEPS TO BE COMPLETED BY DECEMBER 31, 2016.
The program is important for a number of reasons.
After completing the requirements in 2016, the IRS is issuing an Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) - Record of Completion to participants. The participants who complete the AFSP program are included in The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers.
Requirements for calendar year 2016.
|Return Preparer Categories||Description of Preparer Category||Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course & Test||Tax Law Update CE Credits||Federal Tax Law CE Credits||Ethics CE Credits||Total CE Credits|
|Non-Exempt Preparers - AFTR Course Required|
|Non-exempt or non-credentialed preparer||All other non-credentialed return preparers who do not meet one of the exempt categories||6 hour AFTR course and test is required annually||N/A||10||2||18|
Click Here for: ALL Annual Filing Season Preparer Categories
Do I have to get an AFSP - Record of Completion
No, it's voluntary. Anyone with a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) can prepare tax returns for compensation, but continuing education is encouraged for all tax return preparers.
What are the benefits of getting an AFSP - Record of Completion?
AFSP 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 or other professional credential will only be permitted to prepare tax returns. They will not be allowed to represent clients before the IRS.
Attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents will continue to be the only tax professionals with unlimited representation rights, meaning they can represent their clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues, and appeals.
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