The Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course is a 6 hour course in length that is accompanied with a 3 hour long comprehensive 100 question exam. The AFTR is required for non-exempt tax preparers that wish to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). Participants in the 2020 AFTR must complete the course & exam by December 31st. Click here to see if you’re exempt from taking the AFTR.
Domains covered in the 2020 Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course:
Domain 1 – Provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)
Domain 2 – General Review
Domain 3 – Practices, Procedures, and Professional Responsibility
The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is a voluntary program that recognizes the efforts of tax preparers who are not attorneys, CPAs (certified public accountants), or enrolled agents. If you are an unenrolled tax return preparer you must complete the 6 hour IRS Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course (AFTR) along with your CE to receive an AFSP record of completion.
Gain limited representation rights, meaning you can represent clients during the process of preparing and signing their return.
Appear in the public database when taxpayers searches for qualified tax preparers within the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers.
Differentiate yourself from others in the marketplace through expertise by displaying your Record of Completion.
Certain tax return preparers are exempt from the AFTR course requirement because they completed state/national competency tests. Although if you’re exempted you can still earn a Record of Completion for the Annual Filing Season Program. Below is a chart explaining who is exempted.
|Tax Preparer Category||AFSP Status|
|Enrolled Agent||Exempt *Note: If an Enrolled Agent opts to take an AFTR course, they will not receive credit toward their Enrolled Agent CE requirements|
|Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA)||Exempt as long as preparer holds current credential|
|Certified Public Accountant (CPA)||Exempt as long as preparer holds current credential|
|Attorney||Exempt as long as preparer holds current credential|
|Certified Financial Planner (CFP)||Non-Exempt|
|Unenrolled Return Preparers||Non-Exempt|
|Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP)||Exempt for preparers who passed the RTRP test administered by the IRS from Nov. 2011 - Jan. 2013.|
|CTEC Registered Tax Preparer (CRTP)||Exempt for Return preparers who are currently registered with CTEC|
|Oregon Licensed Tax Preparer (OBTP)||Exempt for Return preparers who are currently registered with Oregon|
|Maryland Licensed Individual Tax Preparer||Exempt for Return preparers who have passed the Maryland examination and are registered with Maryland by 12/31|
|New York Registered Tax Preparer||Non-Exempt|