The Annual Filing Season Program
The Annual Filing Season Program is an IRS Program that recognizes the efforts of tax return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism. Those who choose to participate are required to:
- Take 18 hours of continuing education from IRS-Approved CE Providers, including:
- a six (6) hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course that covers filing season issues and tax law updates +
- a knowledge-based comprehension test administered at the end of the course by the CE Provider;
- ten (10) hours of other federal tax law topics; and
- two (2) hours of ethics.
- Have an active preparer tax identification number (PTIN).
- Consent to adhere to specific practice obligations outlined in Subpart B and section 10.51 of Treasury Department Circular No. 230.
Upon completion of these requirements, the return preparer receives an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion from the IRS.
Annual Filing Season Program participants are included in a public database of return preparers on the IRS website. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications includes the name, city, state, ZIP Code, and credentials of all attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents and enrolled actuaries with a valid PTIN, as well as all Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion holders.
ABAs and ATPs do not need to take the Annual Refresher Course and Exam to obtain the AFSP Record of Completion.
So Why take the Annual Federal Tax Refresher course and exam each year when you could earn a prestigious credential you can use after your name year after year?
As part of the voluntary IRS Annual Filing Season Program, which requires annual testing, an Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course and continuing education requirements, Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA) and Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) credential holders are:
- Exempt from the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course and testing requirements
- Automatically qualify for the AFSP-Record of Completion (with a valid PTIN, CPE and Circular 230)
- As Record of Completion holders, are included in the IRS public database of tax return preparers