On June 26, 2014, the IRS issued information about its new voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSB).
But before you get too excited, you should know that California Registered Tax Preparers (CRTPs) will automatically be issued a Record of Completion if they are registered in good standing with CTEC for the 2014-15 year and have a valid PTIN.
CRTPs are not required to take any additional courses over and above those required by CTEC and they are not required to take and pass the annual Federal Tax Refresher course to qualify for a Record of Completion under this program.
In addition to CRTPs, the following individuals would be exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course and comprehension test:
- Oregon tax preparers in good standing with the Oregon program.
- Those passed the former Registered Tax Return Preparers examination.
- Those who have passed the ATP test offered by the Accreditation Council for Accounting/Taxation
- Those who have passed Part 1 of the Special Enrollment Examination within the last 2 years.
- VITA program reviewers and instructors
How This Effects Other Unenrolled Preparers in Other States
For unenrolled tax preparers who are not exempt and wish (remember, this is a voluntary program, but read on) to be issued a Record of Completion under this program will be required to annually do the following;
- Complete 2 hours of CE in ethics from an IRS-approved education provider.
- Complete 10 hours of CE in federal tax subjects from an IRS-approved education provider.
- Take and Complete an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course from an IRS-approved education provider. An AFTR course includes IRS specified content and provides a minimum 6 hours of CE.
- After taking the AFTR course, pass a 100-question timed (3 hour) examination administered by the IRS-approved provider of the AFTR course with a minimum passing grade of 70%.
Tax return preparers who elect to participate in the Program and receive a record of completion from IRS will be included in a database on IRS.gov that will be available by January 2015 to help taxpayers determine return preparer qualifications.
The database will also contain information about practitioners with recognized credentials and higher levels of qualification and practice rights. These include attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, ERPAs, and enrolled actuaries who are registered with IRS.
There is a penalty for those who choose not to participate, since only those unenrolled tax return preparers who have been issued a Record of Completion under the Annual Filing Season Program for the calendar year of preparation and the calendar year of representation will be permitted to represent taxpayers before the IRS during an examination of a return that they signed or prepared.
ClientWhys is an approved provider with the IRS and expects to have an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course and exam available at our CE center by mid-July.
Updated: July 1, 2014, 2:07 p.m.