Annual Filing Season Program Requirements

To participate in the Annual Filing Season Program a tax preparer needs to take 18 hours of continuing education from an IRS approved CE provider by December 31st each year.

This includes:

  • A six hour Annual Federal Refresher course (AFTR course)
  • 10 hours of Federal Tax Law and
  • Two hours of ethics.

Certain tax preparers are exempt from the AFTR course:

  • Anyone who passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer test between November 2011 and January 2013.
  • Return preparers who are active registrants of:
    • Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners.
    • California Tax Education Council (CTEC).
    • Maryland State Board of Individual Tax Preparers.
    • Tax preparers who passed the Special Enrollment Exam part 1 within the past two years.
    • VITA/TCE volunteers
    • Other accredited tax focused credential-holders
      • Accreditation Council for Accountancy
      • Taxation’s Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA)
      • Accredited Tax Preparer Programs

PTIN holders who meet one of these exemptions will need to complete annually:

  • 3 hours of federal tax law updates
  • 10 hours of  federal tax law
  • 2 hours Ethics

Only Unenrolled Return Preparers who complete these requirements annually will allowed the limited representation rights before the Internal Revenue Service

The limited rights for unenrolled return preparers with AFSP certificate allow them to only represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare and they cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collection issues even if they did prepare the return in question.

After PTIN renewal season begins in October, a Record of Completion will be generated to you once all requirements have been met, including renewal of your PTIN for 2016 and consent to the Circular 230 obligations


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