AFSP Exemption for ABAs and ATPs

ATP and ABA Credential Holders are Exempt from the IRS Annual Filing Season Program Course and Exam Requirements! 

As part of the voluntary IRS Annual Filing Season Program which will require annual testing, an Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course and continuing education, holders of the Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA) and Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) credentials issued by the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation:

- are exempt from the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course and testing requirements
- automatically qualify for the Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion (with a valid PTIN, CPE and Circular 230)

As Record of Completion holders, ABAs and ATPs will:

- Beginning on 1/1/16, have limited representation rights to represent clients whose returns they prepare and sign before examination, CSRs, and the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Other tax return preparers who do not participate in the Annual Filing Season Program will not be permitted to represent any clients before the IRS for tax returns and claims for refund prepared and signed after December 31, 2015.

- Be included in the IRS public database of tax return preparers as Record of Completion holders, 

So why take the Annual Federal Tax Refresher course and exam each year when you earn a prestigious credential you can use after your name every year and get limited representation rights?

ABAs and ATPs only need to meet other program requirements to get the AFSP-Record of Completion including: have a valid and up-to-date preparer tax identification number (PTIN), earn at least 15 continuing education credits in 2015, and consent to adhere to specific practice obligations outlined in Subpart B and section 10.51 of Treasury Department Circular No. 230. 

Read more about the IRS ASFP 


I’m an ATP or ABA, what do I need to do?

The IRS matches our list of current ACAT credential holders by full name and PTIN number so they can include ATPs and ABAs in the online public database of tax return preparers. Make sure your renew your ACAT credentials and update your ACAT profile to make sure your ACAT record includes your PTIN and your name and PTIN number match what the the IRS has on file for you.  To update your profile, go to:

Earn an ACAT Credential

The ATP and ABA exams will be offered at testing sites around the country between November 1 - 30, 2015. 

Accredited Tax Preparer® (ATP) 
The ATP credential is for practitioners who have a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns. Their expertise covers comprehensive 1040 issues (including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, etc.) and ethics. 

ABA Accredited Business Accountant® For practitioners who specialize in the financial accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law, and ethics for small to medium sized businesses and in financial services to individuals and family.