In order to obtain the IRS Annual Filing Season Program Qualification (AFSP) you will need to successfully complete our 18 Hour IRS Continuing Professional Education Tax Course. This 2018 tax course (IRS Provider # JK8E2) is designed for Tax Preparers who are considered non-credentialed or non-exempt tax preparers by the IRS and who want to be a part of the IRS Annual Filing Season Program and are required to complete the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course (AFTRC) as part of their continuing professional education requirement. This 18 hour continuing education course will review the personal income tax return and includes 10 hours of federal law, 2 hours of ethics and 6 hours of Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) with knowledge based comprehension test, per IRS guidelines.
IRS General Tax Preparer Requirements
Course Prerequisites: High school diploma or high school diploma equivalent is recommended. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also require individuals to possess a valid Personal Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
The IRS requires all paid tax preparers to sign up with the IRS, pay a registration fee and obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). All tax preparers will need to renew an existing PTIN annually. Enrolled Agents have separate requirements, Click Here to learn more. Please note, residents of California, Oregon, New York and Maryland have separate state requirements. Click the link to learn more about each state's specific requirement.
What are the benefits to becoming an IRS Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion Holder?
Tax preparers who complete the Annual Filing Season Program will be issued a record of completion from the IRS and be listed in their public database detailing the tax preparer’s credentials. The IRS has also launched a public education campaign to encourage taxpayers to select credentialed tax preparers. Beginning January 1st, 2016, there was changes to the representation rights of return preparers. AFSP participants will have limited representation rights and will be able to represent clients before revenue agents and similar IRS employees.
IRS Annual Filing Season Program Continuing Education Requirements
In order to participate in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program one must complete 18 credit hours of continuing education. The Annual Filing Season Program record of completion is available each year from June 1 - December 31st and each year thereafter. The 18 credit hours would need to include 6 hours of an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course with a knowledge based comprehension test, 10 hours of Federal tax law topics and 2 hours of Ethics. The program is directed to preparers who are not attorneys, CPAs or enrolled agents. Tax return preparers who have successfully completed one of the following national or state tests would be exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher course with a comprehension test:
- Registered Tax Return Preparers
- Oregon/California/Maryland and other state based return preparer testing programs
- Accredited Tax preparer test offered by the Accreditation Council for Accountancy/Taxation
- Part 1 of the Special Enrollment Exam during the 2 year eligibility window
- Successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program reviewers and instructors
If a credentialed tax professional (CPA, attorney, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, enrolled actuary) or the exempt group listed above wants to be a part of the Annual Filing Season Program, he/she must have 15 hours of continuing education from an IRS approved provider. The 15 credit hours will need to include 3 hours of Federal tax updates, 10 Hours of Federal tax law topics and 2 hours of Ethics. No CE credit will be given to Enrolled Agents for completing an AFTR course. The 18 credit hours must include 6 hours of an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course with a knowledge based comprehension test, 10 hours of Federal tax law topics and 2 hours of Ethics. The program is directed to preparers who are not attorneys, CPAs or enrolled agents.
Once you complete the IRS Annual Filing Season Program continuing education tax course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Platinum will then report your completion to the IRS electronically. Once the tax preparer has met all three requirements for the AFSP (renewed their PTIN, taken appropriate amount of continuing education, completed and passed the AFTR course/test if required), a record of completion will be available in the PTIN holder's online IRS account for printing. Any "unenrolled" preparer not already bound by Circular 230 will need to sign an agreement to follow sub-part b of Circular 230 before being able to print the certificate from the Internal Revenue Service. There will be no cost to the preparer for the AFSP record of completion. The IRS will then list AFSP tax preparers in their public database including the tax preparer's credentials.
About the IRS Annual Filing Season Program Continuing Education Tax Course
Course Description: The IRS CE 18 Hour Personal Income Tax Return w/ AFTR course is designed for tax preparers who are looking to complete a tax course that will meet the 18 hour IRS Continuing Professional Education annual income tax course requirement. The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) CE Tax Course includes six hours of the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course with comprehensive test, ten hours of federal tax law, and two hours of ethics, per the required IRS guidelines. This tax course (IRS Provider #JK8E2) is actually four tax classes in one. The learning objectives expected to be achieved after completion of this tax course includes a better understanding of the following tax topics.
Tax Course #1 covers the personal income tax return, form 1040. Topics include non-business income, adjustments to income, credits and tax payments and provides ten hours of CPE credit (IRS Course #JK8E2-T-00096-18-S). Tax Course #2 covers ethical issues for the tax practitioner. Issues involving the possession of tax records, charging of fees for the preparation of taxes and when is a tax practitioner acting in a disreputable or incompetent manner, are reviewed and provides two hours of CPE credit (IRS Course #JK8E2-E-00094-18-S). Tax Course #3 is the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course and covers IRS required subjects divided into three domains. Domain 1: New Tax Law and Recent Updates. Domain 2: General Review. Domain 3: Ethics, Practices and Procedures (IRS Course #JK8E2-A-00108-18-S). The three combined courses will meet the IRS requirement for the number of CE credit hours.
Course Organization: This course is presented in an online format. Students create a login I.D. and password to access the course. Once purchased, the course is available for six months. Reading assignments cover the topics in a step-by-step fashion. Each reading assignment is then followed by a one or two part quiz presented in a multiple choice format. The quiz questions will test knowledge of the completed reading assignment. Once answers are submitted the student will be provided with an answer key and feedback, also provided online. Once all of the quizzes are completed, the student will then need to complete a final test that will review all of the topics covered. The student will receive a pass or fail grade on the final test but, unlike the quizzes, will not be provided with an answer key or any feedback (to comply with IRS guidelines regarding final testing). All quizzes and the final test must be completed with a passing grade of 70% or better in order to meet the 18 hour CE requirement and receive a Certificate of Completion. Course completion is then reported to the IRS by Platinum Professional Services.
Student Support: Students can submit questions and comments in a variety of ways. A toll free phone number (877-315-1772), fax line (877-317-9412) and email address (customersupport @platinumprostudies.com) are all offered to the student. A course evaluation is also provided at the conclusion of the course. The Certificate of Completion is emailed to the student immediately following the successful completion of the course.
The reading material is built within the course with an option to print it out if you prefer to work offline. A series of quiz review questions will then test your understanding of key topics. In addition, two final tests will be given at the end of the course. This includes the required The AFTR Course comprehensive test which is a 100 question, timed test (3 hours maximum time limit). The tax course is available to you for six months upon registration. Our current courses are based upon the IRS' most recently available tax laws, forms, and schedules. We provide all students with tax updates throughout the year on our Platinum Blog site.
Please note: this tax course is good for six months but in order to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program you must complete this course by December 31st deadline regardless of the expiration of the course.
Remember, Platinum Professional Services offers automatic grading, feedback on your missed questions, reading material conveniently located within each tax course and unlimited tries to pass the quizzes and final exam(s). We even offer full instructor support. Our tax courses are available to you for six months (180 days) upon purchase and will expire after the six month term. Please note: Enrolled Agent review courses and Notary courses expire after one year. Learn 24/7, online and at your own pace. Best of all, your Certificate of Completion is emailed to you immediately following the successful completion of the tax course. Platinum will then report your completion electronically to IRS.
With Platinum Professional Services there is no confusion, only a direct path to success. Feel free to discover the most proficient way to deepen your education and be efficient, all while saving you time and money. Here at Platinum Professional Services, we make it easy for you without any added obstacles. Everyone wants to simplify their life and finally, we have the way.
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2019 IRS AFSP CE 18 Hour - Personal Income Tax Return w/AFTR