#2 Cost of the AFSP?
We get questions about what is the total cost of the IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) Record of Completion for Tax Preparers, and also asking “is it worth it?”
Note: after the video was made, in July 2020 the IRS adjusted the cost of getting or renewing a PTIN to $35.95. Look for answers to these questions in this video:
- How much does it cost to be an AFSP?
- Are these any hidden or extra costs?
- Is there an annual renewal fee to maintain the AFSP each year?
- Is there a separate IRS charge to be listed in the IRS database of tax preparers?
- Is there free or cheap CPE available to use for the AFSP program?
Watch this short video to get all the cost information, and a quick analysis of the value of the AFSP.
Rather read the transcript than watch the video?
Here is the transcript of the video about “How much do you pay to get the AFSP program certificate?”
-> The question today is “How much does the AFSP cost?” or “How much do I pay to become an AFSP?”
-> Hi, I’m Carolyn Weaver with FunCPE, and this is AFSP tip #2
-> There are 3 parts to the AFSP cost.
- The cost to obtain the required Preparer Tax ID Number or PTIN.
- The cost to join the IRS program and
- The cost of the continuing professional education or “CPE” courses needed to qualify for the program.
-> Cost # 1— (Updated) The annual cost of the PTIN is now $35.95 as of July 2020. The PTIN is obtained or renewed at the IRS website.
- You must have a valid PTIN to take your CPE courses.
- Then you must renew your PTIN for the following year in order to obtain the record of completion. This means you must have a PTIN for two years, the year you take your courses, and the following year for tax season.
-> Cost # 2–Surprisingly , there is no cost to obtain the AFSP record of completion. Zero, zip, zilch.
-> Cost # 3 – At FunCPE.com, for the 2021 AFSP, the courses for exempt preparers total $80 and for nonexempt preparers the cost is $101.
-> Who is exempt versus nonexempt?
If you are exempt, you can skip the 6 hour AFTR course, but must take a 3 hour tax update course.
If you are non-exempt, you must take the 6 hour AFTR course.
Both exempt and non-exempt preparers must take the 2 hour ethics course and 10 hours of any Federal Tax courses.
We have packages for exempt and non-exempt to make it easy to get the right number of CE hours.
-> Am I exempt?
If you are not sure about your classification, review the list of tax preparer qualifications that make you Exempt.
-> The types of CPE accepted by the IRS are
- self-study and online courses,
- live webinars and
- live seminars.
-> How to find free CPE courses for AFSP requirements
If you are looking for free CPE courses, check the IRS Sponsored Continuing Education Programs website for periodic free live webinars. The IRS does not provide CPE for their pre-recorded webinars from past presentations, so you must watch a live webinar presentation for credit.
Also check with tax software companies who often give free live seminars.
Some companies advertise free tax training, but verify if CPE credit is provided along with the training.
In all cases, the CPE provider must be registered with the IRS and the courses must be pre-approved by the IRS in order for you to receive credit. You must receive a certificate of completion listing the approved IRS course number.
-> To summarize the cost of getting your AFSP record of completion:
|PTIN (as of 07/15/20)||$ 35.95|
|FunCPE courses–nonexempt preparers||$101.00|
-> The cost of the AFSP CPE alone will be $101. This is equivalent to the cost of 20 double whoppers with cheese, or about 1.67 whoppers per month.
-> But is getting the AFSP a cost or benefit?
If you get one new customer as a result of having your AFSP credential and being on the IRS website listing, and that customer comes back every year for 10 years, that’s worth $500 or more.
We’d love to have you try our courses!
And we take the low stress approach:
- Easy course system
- Unlimited free retakes* and
- Live telephone support
*Except Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) limited to 4 retakes per IRS regulations
So — preview our courses-and put some FUN in your CPE!