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On 06/30/2014, the IRS released guidance on the new voluntary Annual Filing Season Program. This program is intended to encourage preparers who are not required to complete continuing education (attorneys, certified public accountants, and enrolled agents are required to complete continuing education) to increase their knowledge of tax law as it applies to federal returns. Preparers who participate will receive a Record of Completion issued by the IRS.

To receive a Record of Completion, for calendar year 2017, all continuing education must be completed by December 31, 2016. The Record of Completion is valid for one calendar year. Continuing education must be completed, and an application submitted for each year in which the preparer wishes to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program.

The continuing education requirements vary depending on whether or not a refresher course is required. For those required to take the refresher course, it must be 6 hours and include a test over the course material (minimum 100 questions) given at the end. The applicant must receive a score of 70% or better to receive credit.

Applicants not required to take the refresher course include:
  • Attorneys
  • CPAs
  • EAs
  • Individuals who passed the RTRP examination; and
  • Preparers who are licensed by a state, territory, or possession of the U.S. after passing an examination covering federal tax matters or
  • Preparers who pass an examination covering federal tax matters administered by an entity recognized by the IRS for this purpose
The continuing education requirement hours vary based on whether or not a refresher course is required.

Preparers who must take a refresher course must have 18 hours of continuing education, consisting of:
  • 2 hours of ethics and
  • 10 hours of federal tax law topics and
  • 6 hours of federal tax law updates (satisfied by the refresher course)

Preparers who are exempt from the refresher course must have 15 hours of continuing education, consisting of:
  • 2 hours of ethics and
  • 10 hours of federal tax law topics and
  • 3 hours of federal tax law updates


For a complete list of requirements and restrictions for the Annual Filing Season Program, see Rev. Proc. 2014-42.

Continuing Education Classes

TaxAct has partnered with Surgent to offer a significant discount on exam review courses.  These courses meet all requirments for the AFSP certification.  CE is provided by The Income Tax School.

TaxAct Partnership with Surgent.

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