· The voluntary program is for preparers that do not have a state or other based education requirement.
· Upon completion preparers taking Continuing Education will be included in an IRS database and will be able to represent their clients before the IRS.
· IRS Record of Completion will be given to CTEC preparers taking their annual 20 hours.
On June 2014 the Internal Revenue Service implemented the Annual Filing Season Program; a voluntary program that is designed to encourage education and filing season readiness for paid tax return preparers. The program will be in place to help taxpayers during the 2015 filing season.
The Annual Filing Season Program will allow unenrolled return preparers to obtain a record of completion when they voluntarily complete a required amount of continuing education (CE), including six hours of Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course in basic tax filing issues and updates, ethics and other federal tax law topics.
Some unenrolled preparers, like those registered with CTEC or Oregon, are exempt from the AFTR course requirement because of their completion of other recognized state or national competency tests. These exempt groups are still required to meet their program requirements, including 15 CE credits: 10 federal tax law, three (3) federal tax law updates, and two (2) ethics.
In California tax preparers that complete their annual Continuing Education Course (20hr CE) will automatically comply with this IRS Annual Program. They will not have to take an extra course.
Benefits of the Annual Program and the Record of Completion.
Return preparers who complete the requirements for the Annual Filing Season Program will be issued a Record of Completion that they can display and use to differentiate themselves in the marketplace if desired. They will have limited representation rights before the IRS. By completing their 2015 Annual Filing Season program, renewing their PTIN and accepting of Circular 230 these tax practitioners can represent their clients in 2016 before IRS examinations, customer service representatives, and the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Preparers who complete the AFSP will also be included in a new public database that will be added to IRS.gov by January 2016 for taxpayers to use in searching for qualified tax return preparers. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications will only include attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs), enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents (ERPAs), enrolled actuaries, and individuals who have received an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion.
Record of Completion for Exempt Tax Preparers.
Those who are exempted from the AFTR course must meet the alternative requirements (15 hours of IRS-approved CE, consent to Circular 230 practice requirements, and a valid PTIN for the upcoming filing season) in order to receive an AFSP Record of Completion. Once all requirements are met, the exempted return preparer will automatically be issued a Record of Completion.
A return preparer will not be required to notify the IRS of an exemption. The IRS is obtaining information about exemptions directly from the testing source (e.g. Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners).
Courses for Exempt Tax Preparers.
The Tax Institute is offering the annual 20 hours Continuing Education Course for CTEC registered tax preparers. We are also offering the 15 hours Continuing Education Course for preparers that are exempt and not required to take the Annual Federal Tax Refresher test. Place your Order
How to get a Record of Completion
After PTIN renewal season begins in October 2015, a Record of Completion will be generated to a return preparer once all requirements, including renewal of their PTIN for 2015 have been met.
Tax return preparers with online PTIN accounts will receive an email from TaxPro_PTIN@irs.gov with instructions on how to complete the application process and receive their certificates in their online secure mailbox.
Tax return preparers without an online PTIN account will receive a letter with instructions for completing the application process and obtaining their certificates.
Is The Tax Institute Participating in the Annual Filing Season Program?
At this time we are offering tax education for exempt tax preparers. The AFS program will be available later in the year. Check again soon.
You can have more information regarding this new Annual Filing Season
Program at the IRS.
2016 CTEC & IRS Continuing Education Course Now Available
Annual Filing Season Program will be soon available for 2016