Deadline Nears for Return Preparers to Qualify for New AFSP Program

Post Date: 12/22/14
Last Updated: 12/22/14


Cross References
- IRS Newsroom Article IR-2014-113

The Internal Revenue Service begun issuing Records of Completion for tax preparers who have completed the requirements for the new voluntary Annual Filing Season Program for the 2015 tax season.

Tax preparers who wish to participate in the new IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) for 2015 must complete the continuing education (CE) requirements by December 31, 2014.

The AFSP Record of Completion allows uncredentialed tax preparers who complete required CE to be included in a new Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications scheduled to launch on the IRS website in early 2015.

The 2015 filing season will be the first year the program is available and a transition rule will apply to prorate the required hours. Non-Exempt tax preparers need to complete a total of 11 hours including a 6 hour AFTR course, 3 hours of federal tax law topics and 2 hours of ethics by December 31, 2014 to obtain an AFSP Record of Completion for the 2015 filing season.

Credentialed tax preparers (attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents) have already been licensed or certified by the state bar, a state Board of Accountancy, or the IRS and have higher levels of qualification and practice rights. They have unlimited representation rights before the IRS and may represent their clients on any matters before any IRS office. They are also considered exempt tax preparers for the AFSP program.

For more information on the program requirements and a complete list of exempt tax preparers, go to

Consent to Circular 230 Restrictions
As a prerequisite to receiving a AFSP Record of Completion, a tax preparer is required to consent to the duties and restrictions relating to practice before the IRS in subpart B and section 10.51 of Treasury Department Circular No. 230.

After renewing their PTIN and completing the required CE, tax preparers will receive notification from the IRS indicating they are eligible to log into their online PTIN account, consent to the Circular 230 restrictions, and print their AFSP record of completion.
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