IRS Annual Filing Season Program

This new program aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism. Meet the requirements by obtaining 18 hours of continuing education, including a six hour federal tax law refresher course with test, and you will receive an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion from the IRS.

AFSP participants will also be included in a public database of return preparers scheduled to launch on the IRS website by January 2015. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications will include 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 AFSP – Record of Completion holders.

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IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) 

AFSP Frequently Asked Questions

Revenue Procedure 2014-42

Annual Filing Season Program Requirements

  • What are the requirements for obtaining an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion for 2015?

    In general, to obtain an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion a return preparer must obtain 18 hours of continuing education from an IRS-approved CE Provider. The hours must include a 6 credit hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course that covers filing season issues and tax law updates.

    The AFTR course must include a knowledge-based comprehension test administered at the conclusion of the course by the CE Provider. Unenrolled preparers who have passed recognized state or national tests including the ATP and ABA qualify for an exemption from the AFTR course.

    The amount of CE required to obtain the Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion is prorated for Filing Season 2015. A total of 11 hours must be obtained for Filing Season 2015, including the 6 hour AFTR course, 3 hours of federal tax law topics and 2 hours of ethics.

  • NSA is an approved IRS CE provider and NSA's Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course (AFTR) will be available for sale in August. The course will be offered in a combined online and PDF format with the required exam.

For More on General Requirements for the AFSP, go to:

Who is Exempt?

  • The Annual Filing Season Program is intended to recognize and encourage the voluntary efforts of unenrolled tax return preparers to increase their knowledge and improve their filing season competency through continuing education. The program is not directed at or necessary for credentialed preparers such as attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents or enrolled actuaries.

    Who is exempt from taking the AFTR course & Exam?

    Some unenrolled preparers 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 other program requirements, including 15 CE credits (10 Federal Tax Law, 3 Federal Tax Law Updates, and 2 Ethics).

    Return preparers who can obtain the AFTR – Record of Completion without taking the AFTR course & exam are:
    • Anyone who passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer test administered by the IRS between November 2011 and January 2013.
    Established state-based return preparer program participants currently with testing requirements: Return preparers who are active members of the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners and/or the California Tax Education Council.
  • SEE Part I Test-Passers: Tax practitioners who have passed the Special Enrollment Exam Part I within the past two years as of the first day of the upcoming filing season.
  • VITA volunteers: Quality reviewers and instructors with active PTINs.
  • Other accredited tax-focused credential-holders: The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation’s Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA) and Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) programs.

    For More Information on Reduced Requirements for Exempt Individuals, go to: