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IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP)

This is a voluntary program for the 2016 filing season.
It is designed to encourage education and filing season readiness for paid tax return preparers.

The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) 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, an ethics course, and other federal tax law courses.


To earn a Record of Completion for the 2016 filing season, by 12/31/2015 preparers must:

  • Have an active PTIN (new or renewed by December 31, 2015 for the 2016 filing season

  • If NON-EXEMPT you must earn 18 Continueing Education (CE) hours including:
    • Complete the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course (6 CE hours).
    • Earn ten (10) Continuing Education (CE) hours of other federal tax law topics.
    • Earn two (2) Continuing Education (CE) hours of ethics.
  • If EXEMPT you must earn 15 Continuing Education (CE) hours including:
    • Earn three (3) Continuing Education (CE) hours of federal tax law updates.
    • Earn ten (10) Continuing Education (CE) hours of other federal tax law topics.
    • Earn two (2) Continuing Education (CE) hours of ethics.
  • Consent to Circular 230 restrictions


  • NOTE: There are two components to the Annual Filing Season Program for non-exempt participants:

  • Complete the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) 6 CE hour Course (right column)

  • Complete 12 additional Continuing Education (CE) hours (left column)
         NOTE: Exempt tax preparers need 15 hours of CE and the AFTR is not required

  • Learn more about the AFSP requirements using the WiseGuides AFSP Expert.

    Continuing Education (CE)


    The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is primarily directed to unenrolled tax preparers who are not attorneys, CPAs, or Enrolled Agents.

    These unenrolled tax preparers fall into two categories: exempt and non-exempt.

    The following unenrolled tax return preparers are exempt from the requirement to complete the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course:

    • Registered Tax Return Preparers (passed the RTRP Test by 1/18/13)
    • Preparers from Oregon/California and other states who passed the respective state's testing programs
    • Preparers who passed the Accredited Tax Preparer test offered by the Accreditation Council for Accountancy/Taxation
    • Preparers who passed Part 1 of the Special Enrollment Exam (aka: SEE or EA Exam) during the 2 year eligibility window
    • Successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program reviewers and instructors

    The CE requirement for calendar year 2015 (2016 tax year) as follows:

    Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR)
    Course

    Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course requirements.

    Earn 6 hours of CE after successfully completing the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course. To earn credit for the AFTR Course, you must pass a 100 question comprehension test with a score of 70%.


    Exemptions from the requirement to complete the AFTR Course.

    RTRPs, preparers who passed Part 1 of the Special Enrollment Exam (aka: SEE and EA Exam) during the 2-year eligibility window, and others who have successfully completed certain recognized national or state tests (e.g., California and Oregon), are exempt from the AFTR Course requirement. (See who is exempt.)

    NOTE. Enrolled Agents are not eligible for CE credits for completion of the AFTR course.


    AFTR Course comprehension test information.
    • 100 Multiple-Choice Questions are in each version of the test.
    • Maximum of 3 hours is allowed to complete the 100-question test.
    • Passing score is 70%.
    • The same version of a test can be given twice, as long as no evaluative feedback is provided. (In other words, we are not permitted to tell you which questions you missed.)

      AFTR Introductory Price $40

      AFTR Course Study Tips

      AFTR Course Content