NSTPAnnual Filing Season Program (AFSP), Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

To encourage non-credentialed return preparers to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program, the IRS is sending emails to about 5,000 people this week who are within 3 hours or less of having enough continuing education (CE) to participate for 2018. They must get the remaining CE by December 31.

There are two versions of the email depending on whether the preparer is in the 15 or 18 hours category. Following is a sample of the email.

In addition, there are a significant number of preparers who have obtained enough CE to participate, but who have not completed their Circular 230 consent in order to officially participate and receive the Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion. IRS sends a monthly email reminding them to take this step. Even though CE is due by December 31, 2017, preparers have until April 18, 2017, to sign the consent.

Our records indicate you need three or less hours of continuing education by December 31, 2017, to be eligible for the Internal Revenue Service’s 2018 Annual Filing Season Program. Don’t miss the deadline! 

You must have a total of 15 hours of continuing education from IRS-Approved CE Providers in the following categories to participate in the 2018 program: 

– 3 hours of federal tax law updates; 
– 10 hours of other federal tax law topics; and 
– 2 hours of ethics. 

You can view your current CE credits in your online PTIN account. On the Main Menu, select “View My Continuing Education Credits”. 

Attorneys, certified public accountants, and enrolled agents have full representation rights for all clients before all IRS offices. Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion holders have limited representation rights, meaning they can represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before examination, customer service representatives, and the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Non-participants in the Annual Filing Season Program do not have any representational rights before the IRS for returns prepared after December 31, 2015. 

For more information about the IRS Annual Filing Season Program, visit

Return Preparer Office Internal Revenue Service