Should an EA get the AFSP Record of Completion?
Starting in 2014, the IRS introduced a new program to replace the failed RTRP program. The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is designed for non-credentialed preparers to obtain a credential after completing specific CPE courses.
The AFSP program is not designed for Enrolled Agents, but EAs can participate if desired and there is no cost to do so. Many EAs will already be getting the required CPE to meet the EA CPE requirements, so there may be no additional cost.
However the CE Courses needed for the AFSP are specific, so an EA might or might not take the exact courses needed.
Is there any advantage for an Enrolled Agent to also get an AFSP Record of Completion?
No, I don’t believe there is any advantange. Professionals with a Record of Completion will be listed in the IRS tax preparer database, but Enrolled Agents will already be listed there, regardless of whether or not they get the ROC.
But it is a free program at this point, so it doesn’t hurt to get it either.
AFSP courses required
AFSP Courses required for an exempt tax preparer (EAs are considered exempt)
- 3 hours Tax Update
- 2 hours Ethics
- 10 hours Tax Law (i.e. any other course covering any aspect of Federal Tax laws)
Not all EAs take a Tax Update course, but you could, and it would count towards your annual EA CPE requirements, as well as the AFSP requirements.
What correspondence to you get from the IRS?
If you do in fact take the required courses, you will receive a letter from the IRS. If you do not have an online PTIN account, your letter will look like this: