Income Tax Course Annual Filing Season Program

The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is a voluntary IRS continuing education program for tax return preparers who aren’t obligated to meet continuing professional education requirements but want to be recognized for staying up to date on tax laws and changes. Unenrolled return preparers can elect to voluntarily take continuing education each year in preparation for the filing season and receive an Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion from the IRS. 

Reasons for Participating:

  • With an AFSP record of completion you have limited representation rights, meaning you can represent clients during an examination of a return that you sign or prepare.
  • AFSP participants are included in the directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.
  • Demonstrate your professionalism. The AFSP differentiates you in the marketplace from other unenrolled preparers.


Requirements for Obtaining the AFSP – Record of Completion:

  • Complete the Annual Federal Tax Refresher 6-hour course and pass comprehension test by Dec. 31, 2016.
  • Earn required hours of continuing education by Dec. 31, 2016.  Attendance at a 2016 U of M Income Tax Short Course will fulfill this requirement.
  • Have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) for 2017.


What is the Annual Federal Tax Refresher course?

The Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course is a 6-hour basic federal tax course that will cover tax law topics in the areas of new tax law, general review and ethics, and practices and procedures. The 6-hour course will be followed by a comprehension test consisting of a minimum of 100 questions that preparers must pass with a minimum of 70% to earn credit for the course.  After passing the test and completing the minimum required continuing education hours, a Record of Completion for the AFSP will be emailed by the IRS.

The University of Minnesota is partnering with Fast Forward Academy to make the AFTR course available to our Income Tax Short Course audience. The course is entirely online, providing the flexibility to work at your own pace. However, the test must be completed with a passing score by December 31, 2016, in order to earn credit for the 2017 filing season.  

AFTR Course AFTR Course w/ physical book

Fee - $50
Includes 6-hour annual refresher & comprehension test

Register here

Fee - $100
Includes 6-hour annual refresher & comprehension test, and a physical book shipped to your address 

Register here

Who is exempt from taking the AFTR course?

  • Anyone who passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer test administered by the IRS between November 2011 and January 2013.
  • Established state-based return preparer program participants currently with testing requirements; return preparers who are active members of the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners and/or the California Tax Education Council.
  • SEE Part I Test-Passers: tax practitioners who have passed the Special Enrollment Exam Part I within the past two years as of the first day of the upcoming filing season.
  • VITA volunteers: quality reviewers and instructors with active PTINs.
  • Other accredited tax-focused credential-holders: The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation’s Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA) and Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) programs.

For questions regarding program content, please contact ccetax@umn.edu.