2021 Annual Filing Season Program

Important Notes:
This page is not designed for Enrolled Agents. EA’s please view our List Of All Courses to select other options.

Our continuing education bundles will satisfy the CE requirement for the IRS Annual Filing Season Program in the upcoming 2021 Tax Filing Season. Alternatively, students can choose to purchase only the “2021 Annual Federal Tax Refresher” course by itself.

The Annual Filing Season Program is intended to recognize and encourage unenrolled tax return preparers who voluntarily increase their knowledge and improve their filing season competency through continuing education (CE). Added benefits of this program are:

  • Increased tax knowledge
  • Differentiate yourself in the marketplace with AFSP Credentials
  • Option to include your name in the IRS Public Directory of Tax Return Preparers (Scroll down for more info on this)
  • Have limited representation rights of your clients whose returns you’ve prepared and signed, before certain IRS revenue agents

Depending on any tax credentials you hold or the state that you live in, you may be considered an Exempt or a Non-Exempt Tax Preparer. To learn more about Exempt and Non-Exempt status and determine which of our AFSP Bundles is right for you, please scroll down for more information or visit the IRS website for “Reduced Requirement for Exempt Individuals

Additional information about the Annual Filing Season Program can be found on the General Requirements page of this IRS website, Click Here “General Requirements.”  We always suggest that every tax preparer double-check with their state tax requirements.

Expand each title below for more information

The below chart provides a general idea of the Annual CE Requirements needed for Tax Preparers. Depending on the state you live in or the type of tax credentials you hold, we still recommend that you check with the IRS and your State’s website for Tax Preparers CE requirements.

Tax Preparer CategoryAnnual Federal Tax Refresher Course (AFTR)Tax Law Update CoursesGeneral Tax Law CoursesEthics CoursesTotal CE Credit
Enrolled AgentsEA’s do not receive credit for this course 22 Hrs2 Hrs= 24 Hrs
Non-Exempt Tax Preparers6 Hrs 10 Hrs2 Hrs= 18 Hrs
Exempt Tax Preparers (For California, Oregon, Maryland, and New York Tax preparers, please check with your state’s CE Requirements.) 3 Hrs10 Hrs2 Hrs= 15 Hrs

The majority of tax preparers fall under the “Non-Exempt” category and would generally want to take the 18-Hour bundle. The important information below was obtained from the IRS website. The IRS determines an Exempt Tax Preparer as being a part of any of the following categories:

State based return preparer program participants such as:
Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners
California Tax Education Council (CTEC)
Maryland State Board of Individual Tax Preparers

Organization based return preparer program participants such as:
Former IRS Registered Tax Return Preparers
IRS Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) Part 1
IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteer
Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT)

Credentialed preparers:
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Attorney
Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA)
Enrolled Agent (EA)

If you do not belong to any of the categories listed above, then it is highly likely that you are a “Non-Exempt” tax preparer.

IRS Sources:
https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/annual-filing-season-program
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/afsp_exempt_non-exempt_ce_chart.pdf

During the year 2020, if you satisfied all requirements to achieve the 2021 AFSP Record of Completion, then the Program becomes effective January 1, 2021 and ends December 31, 2021. During the year 2020, you must have completed the following:

  • Complete all CE Course requirements for the AFSP Program before December 31, 2020.
  • During the PTIN renewal period, must have renewed your PTIN to get ready for the 2021 tax season. 
  • Consent to the Circular 230 Obligations within your PTIN account.

A Record of Completion will be generated to you once all the above requirements above have been met. Please also see “General Requirements

If you have an online PTIN account, you will receive an e-mail from TaxPro_PTIN@irs.gov with any further instructions. If you don’t have an online PTIN account, please create one on the IRS website.

Get your name listed by fulfilling the 2021 Annual Filing Season Program requirements