GlobalED Virtual University: Taxation | AFSP, AFTR

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AFSP: Non-Exempt PTIN Preparers

In July, 2014, the IRS has established a voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). The IRS will be the entity that directly issues the AFSP Record of Completion (RoC) to paid tax preparers upon successful completion of approved continuing education courses taken through the GlobalED TaxED Center, an Approved Continuing Education Provider.

This page is the information page for UNCREDENTIALED Tax Return Preparers with a valid PTIN. If you are a Credentialed Preparer Click Here for Credentialed CE

How The AFSP Works

  • This is a Voluntary program.
  • Record of Completion issued from the IRS through the online PTIN account.
  • CE courses and exams must be completed each year by December 31. The IRS will not extend this due date.
  • EA SEE Test Prep CE credits may be applied to AFSP

Limited Representation Rights: Beginning January 1, 2016, non-exempt tax return preparers may have limited representation rights ONLY with an AFSP Record of Completion (RoC). Limited representation rights mean preparers are authorized to represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Limited representation rights prohibit AFSP RoC holders from representing clients regarding appeals or collection issues. Other preparers have limited representation rights ONLY FOR RETURNS FILED BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2016. An AFSP record of completion is required for the year the return was filed and also for the year of representation.

PTIN holders without an AFSP – Record of Completion or other professional credential will only be permitted to prepare tax returns. They will not be allowed to represent clients before the IRS even when they prepared the tax return.

IRS Public Directory Listing: Another advantage to becoming an AFSP participant is inclusion in the public database of return preparers on the IRS website. The Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications includes the name, city, state, zip code, and credentials of all attorneys, CPAs, EAs, ERPAs and Enrolled Actuaries with a valid PTIN, as well as all Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion holders.  

NON-EXEMPT Preparers: CE courses and 18 credits must include:

  • 6 Credits Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course;
  • 10 Credits in Federal Tax Law Topics;
  • 2 Credits in Ethics.

EXEMPT Preparers: A credentialed tax professional like a CPA, EA, attorney or other person listed in the exempt group below wanting to receive an AFSP Record of Completion must satisy their 15 CE credits from an approved provider like GlobalED based upon the credit breakdown above with one exception: only 3 credits in tax law updates are required in lieu of the 6 credit AFTR course.

The IRS, not GlobalED will issue the AFSP Record of Completion. The Record of Completion will be available for printing free of charge in the PTIN holder's online IRS account. Any non-exempt preparer not bound by Circular 230 will need to sign an agreement to follow sub-part b of Circular 230 before the record of completion can be printed.

The Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course

To receive the AFSP for the 2018 tax year, (the 2019 tax preparation season) non-exempt preparers must complete the AFTR course and all appropriate CE courses before the December 31 deadline. This course will have an automatic expiration of Midnight, December 31. If you miss the 12/31 deadline date there is no way you can receive your AFSP RoC even if you have 18 CE credits! The IRS mandates this course for the non-exempt tax preparer seeking the AFSP RoC and there is no way around that requirement. The 12/31 deadline is a granite wall that will block you from earning your AFSP RoC for that tax season.

Missing deadlines leaves you with only one alternative ... next year. Earn the AFSP RoC and get listed in the IRS Directory for the next filing season and earn your limited client representation rights.

The AFTR course cannot commence before June 1st and must be completed, meaning you pass the 100 question final exam prior to midnight on December 31. Failure to complete this course by 12/31 along with the other program requirements will prevent you from earning your AFSP for the 2017 tax filing season. These start and end dates are established by the IRS and are absolute. The IRS prohibits exceptions to these deadlines. You may not enroll or pre-enroll in the AFTR course until 12:00 AM on June 1 and the course will expire at Midnight, December 31, 2018.

Exempt from the AFTR Course: The following tax preparers are exempt from the requirement to take the AFTR course:

  • Credentialed Tax Professionals (Attorney, CPA, EA, ERPA).
  • Those who passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer Examination (RTRP).
  • Those satisfying the Oregon, California, Maryland or other state administered tax return preparer testing programs accepted by the IRS.
  • Those holding the Accredited Tax Preparers (ATP) or Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA) credential offered by ACAT: the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation.
  • Those passing Part 1 of the SEE exam during the two year eligibility window.
  • Successful VITA program reviewers and instructors.


Add to Cart AFSP: Non-Exempt 18 credits w/AFTR course $125 IRS Provider Logo

Some tax preparers only need or want to take the AFTR course without obtaining their AFSP Record of Completion from the IRS. Others only need the AFTR course because they already have obtained all their other continuing education credits in the appropriate categories but still need the AFTR course. For those of you occupying these categories, we can offer you only an AFTR course enrollment. Please note that IRS regulations prohibit taking the AFTR prior to June 1 and you must pass the 100 question final exam prior to December 31.

Add to Cart AFTR: Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course $75 IRS Provider Logo

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