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Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP)

AFSP CPE Overview

We offer low cost cpe courses for the AFSP, EA, and all IRS Tax Preparers on current tax topics in an entertaining format.

We'll admit it is hard to make tax courses fun, but we do try!

FunCPE is an IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider for AFSP

  • FunCPE Sponsor number FAE6R
  • Valid in all states for the Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion
  • What is an "Approved Continuing Education Provider" for IRS Tax Preparer and AFSP continuing education?
  • FunCPE has been IRS approved to provide CPE courses to IRS  tax preparers, including EAs for almost 20 years
  • Our current sponsorship is valid through December 31, 2020  (all CE Sponsor agreements have annual renewals).  We renew our sponsorship as soon as the renewal becomes available, for the following year.
  • We automatically post your hours to your IRS PTIN account, when you provide your PTIN to us in your student profile (usually entered during your first registration)

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IRS Approved CE Sponsor Approval-Current Year

Approved CE provider EA CPE
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Review our IRS sponsor approval letter as well as print it out for your records if desired.


History of the AFSP

The IRS's initial program of testing and professional designation for tax preparers was created in 2011 and called the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) program.  This program was suspended in January 2013, and has now been discontinued.  Tax preparers who passed the RTRP exam are classifed as "exempt" and have a reduced number of CE hours required to participate in the AFSP.

The IRS Return Preparer Office (RPO) announced the voluntary Annual Filing Season Program in July 2014.  Initially they referred to it as the Annual Filing Season Certificate, but the term "certificate" was dropped and it was changed to "program."  You now can receive a "record of completion" but they are careful not to refer to it as a "certificate."  Most likely the IRS wants to avoid any suggestion that you are a "certified tax preparer" or anything that might be confused with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).


In August 2018, a suit challenging the authority of the IRS to conduct the AFSP program was settled in favor of the IRS.  The AICPA had brought a suit claiming that the AFSP credentialling program harmed CPAs. The AICPA argued that the Record of Completion "confuses" consumers and causes them to patronize unenrolled preparers instead of licensed CPAs.  They also argued that the AICPA members incur compliance costs of the time and cost of unenrolled preparers in their employe who choose to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program.

The IRS won the suit with the argument that Congress enacted the program to protect consumers in need of tax service.


The IRS is pursuing congressional authorization for the IRS to make minimum continuing education courses for tax preparers mandatory, rather than voluntary as it is now. 

What courses do I need to get the AFSP?

Review the CE requirements for the AFSP program here.

Some students have asked why the number of hours required was lower the first year (2014) the IRS began the AFSP program.

Because the program was started in the middle of the year in 2014, the IRS reduced the number of CE hours required to be completed by December 31, 2014, for the "2015 filing season." 

Review the "Am I Exempt or Non-Exempt" article to determine whether you are "exempt" or "non-exempt" from the 6-hour Annual Filing Tax Refreshers (AFTR) course here.


We welcome you as an Annual Filing Season Program tax professional  to our site and would like to serve your needs better. Please contact us with any suggestions for new course topics for ASFP courses specifically, or any other questions or information you think we should add to our website information.


We know the AFSP regulations can be confusing.
If you have any questions about the CPE requirements or our courses, please don't hesitate to contact us by phone: 877-738-6273 (toll-free) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know how we can help you.

For more information about Tax Preparer licensing, you can also view the IRS website page on the AFSP requirements directly.

How can I be sure these are the right courses to take?

The IRS recognizes four categories of courses

Tax Law Update CE credits: this is a specific category of tax courses in the IRS system. The course should be labelled "Tax Update" or "Federal Tax Law Update."

Ethics CE credits: this is also a specific category in the IRS reporting system. The course is described as in the "Ethics" category.

Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course: This is a single courses that covers a specific outline of topics prescribed by the IRS. This course has very well-defined testing requirements as well as material.  This course is not accepted for credit for Enrolled Agents, as they are required to take more advanced courses.

Federal Tax Law CE credits: This is a general category for the IRS classification, that includes any Federal Tax law CE course, other than a Tax Update or the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course.  You can select any of the courses from our Tax Courses sections for your Federal Tax Law CE credits, except the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course.

question about CE courses required

Questions?  Feel free to call or email us if you are not sure which courses to take.

Yes we report your CE hours to the IRS We do report your CE hours earned to the IRS electronically.  We are an approved IRS CPE provider for Enrolled Agents and Tax Preparers.

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Which courses should I take for AFSP CPE?

As per the rules outlined by the IRS, qualifying Annual Filing Season Program CPE must be in the areas of:

  • Federal Tax Law (all AFSP)
  • Ethics (all AFSP)
  • Tax Law Update (exempt)
  • Annual Federal Tax Refresher/AFTR (non-exempt) This course only available June 1 to December 31 each year.

All FunCPE  tax courses qualify for AFSP Federal Tax Law CPE. Our ethics courses qualify for all required AFSP ethics CE.  *BUT* there are specific tax course requirements depending on whether you are Exempt or Non-Exempt.

You can:

Sign up for a tax package which includes ethics:

~ or ~

Select your individual courses using the Exempt or Non-Exempt requirements:

FunCPE exams are available online 24/7 to help you meet your CPE requirements on time. 

The Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) 6 hour course is only available June 1 to December 31 of each year, in accordance with IRS requirements.  All courses must be completed by December 31st in order to receive the AFSP designation.