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IRS Annual Filing Season Program

On June 26, 2014, the IRS issued information about its new voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSB).

The Annual Filing Season Program will allow unenrolled return preparers to obtain a record of completion when they voluntarily complete a required amount of continuing education (CE), including a course in basic tax filing issues and updates, ethics and other federal tax law courses.

Tax return preparers who elect to participate in the program and receive a record of completion from the IRS will be included in a database on IRS.gov that will be available by January 2015 to help taxpayers determine return preparer qualifications.

The database will also contain information about practitioners with recognized credentials and higher levels of qualification and practice rights. These include attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs), enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents (ERPAs) and enrolled actuaries who are registered with the IRS.

However, not all preparers will be required to complete the program. The following individuals would be exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course and comprehension test:

  • California tax preparers in good standing with the California Tax Education Council (CTEC)
  • Oregon preparers in good standing with the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners.
  • Preparers who have passed the former Registered Tax Return Preparer exam.
  • Preparers who have passed the ATP test offered by the Accreditation Council for Accounting/Taxation
  • Preparers who have passed Part 1 of the Special Enrollment Examination within the last 2 years.
  • VITA program reviewers and instructors

For unenrolled tax preparers who are not exempt and wish  to be issued a Record of Completion under this program will be required to annually do the following;

  1. Complete 2 hours of CE in ethics from an IRS-approved education provider.
  2. Complete 10 hours of CE in federal tax subjects from an IRS-approved education provider.
  3. Take and Complete an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course from an IRS-approved education provider. An AFTR course includes IRS specified content and provides a minimum 6 hours of CE.
  4. After taking the AFTR course, pass a 100-question timed (3 hour) examination administered by the IRS-approved provider of the AFTR course with a minimum passing grade of 70%.

1040 Financial is an IRS-approved provider and will soon have an Annual Tax Refresher Course available.

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