Instructions for obtaining the AFSP Record of Completion
For year ending 12/31/16--For 2017 tax filing season
The IRS established the new Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) in July 2014, for the 2015 filing season. The first year (2014) the CPE hours required were lower, but for 2015 and 2016 they have remained the same.
There are 4 steps to obtaining the Record of Completion (ROC).
Step 1: Renew your PTIN for 2016. You need to have a valid PTIN at the time you complete a CPE course in order for the credits to get posted to your PTIN account. Then you will need to renew your PTIN for 2017 in order to prepare returns during calendar year 2017.
Step 2: Complete the required CPE courses by 12/31/16. The courses you need depend on whether you are exempt or non-exempt. See related article "Am I exempt or non-exempt?" We post your completed CPE hours to the IRS electronically.
Step 3: Receive email notice from IRS (TaxPro_PTIN (at) irs.gov) that you have met all the requirements of the AFSP. This usually takes about a week from the time you complete all your hours.
Step 4: Login to your PTIN account at www.irs.gov/ptin to agree to the terms.
On the Main Menu, select "AFSP Record of Completion - Circular 230 Consent" (or if you have a credential such as EA or CPA etc), the option will read "Elect to Participate in AFSP."
Follow the screen prompts to elect to participate.
In 24 hours, you should log in again to find a printable Record of Completion in your "View my messages" mailbox.
After you receive your Record of Completion
You will be listed on the IRS website in the "Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications."
Your rights as an AFSP
AFSP participants will have limited representation rights, meaning they can 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.
PTIN holders without an AFSP – Record of Completion or other professional credential are only permitted to prepare tax returns. They are not be allowed to represent clients before the IRS after January 1, 2016. Read the full explanation about tax preparer representation rights here.
What to put on your business card
Tax preparers can add the term "AFSP - Record of Completion" to business cards, stationary, email signatures, etc.
What if you do not get the email notice from the IRS
The first thing to check if you do not get the notice that you have met the requirements for the AFSP, is to login to your PTIN account at the IRS website, and verify all the CE hours you have completed have been posted to your account. If the hours have not been posted, contact your CE Provider (FunCPE, for example) by email to find out if possibly there was a problem posting your hours.
The IRS indicated to us that the AFSP emails are sent once a week on Thursday nights. You would be expected to receive the email on the Thursday following your completion of all required courses. If you complete your courses on a Thursday, you would receive the email the following Thursday, due to the 24 hour time lag of the IRS posting your hours to your PTIN account.