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The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is a voluntary program designed to encourage preparers, who are not otherwise required to complete continuing education, to continually increase federal tax knowledge. Preparers who participate will receive a Record of Completion issued by the IRS.

To receive a Record of Completion for calendar year 2020, all continuing education must be completed by December 31, 2019. 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 AFSP.

The continuing education requirements vary depending on whether a refresher course is required. For those required to take the refresher course, it must be six 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:

  • two hours of ethics, and
  • ten hours of federal tax law topics, and
  • six 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:

  • two hours of ethics, and
  • ten hours of federal tax law topics, and
  • three 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 requirements for the AFSP certification. CE is provided by The Income Tax School. See the TaxAct Surgent Professional Education – EA Exam Review webpage for more information.

Related Links

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.


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