IRS Education News
Dear ExamMatrix Student,
After much speculation, the IRS formally announced a “new voluntary program designed to encourage education and filing season readiness for paid tax return preparers”.
Many of you have contacted us with questions on this new program, so we have put together a Q&A of the more common questions we are getting:
1. What is the new program?
The program calls for a voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) that will allow un-enrolled (non-exempt) return preparers to obtain a record of completion when they voluntarily complete 18 hours of continuing education (CE), including a course in basic tax filing issues and updates, ethics and other federal tax law courses, as follows:
- 6 hours of federal tax filing season refresher course (with a required comprehension test at
- 10 hours of federal tax law topics
- 2 hours of ethics
For the first year, a transition rule will apply to prorate the required hours. For a return preparer to obtain a record of completion for the 2015 filing season, a total of 11 hours will need to be earned in 2014, including the six hour refresher course, three hours of other federal tax law topics and two hours of ethics.
2. What is the IRS Registry?
Unenrolled Return Preparers who complete this annual CE program will be included in an IRS Database of tax professionals who have completed the Annual Filing Season Program, along with CPAs, EAs, Attorneys, as well as Enrolled (Exempt) tax professionals identified by the IRS (state certified, tax preparers who have passed Part 1 of the Enrolled Agent Exam within the past two years, etc). More importantly, beginning in 2016, PTIN holders without an AFSP – Record of Completion or other professional credential will only be permitted to prepare tax returns. They will NOT be allowed to represent clients before the IRS.
3. Will ExamMatrix offer the Annual Filing Season Tax Refresher Course?
ExamMatrix WILL be offering the six-hour Annual Filing Season Tax Refresher Course. It will utilize much of the course functionality you saw with our RTRP and EA Exam prep, but also include a “linear” teaching component that will first update you on each of the 35 items required in the IRS Annual Refresher Course. We will release our course next month.
4. I purchased the ExamMatrix RTRP Exam Review Course but never got to sit for the Exam. Will I get a discount on the Annual Tax Refresher Course
ExamMatrix RTRP Students who did not have the opportunity to sit for the RTRP Exam prior to the court injunction will be eligible for a 35% discount on the Annual Tax Refresher Course for the next five years. In addition, since there is now greater incentive to become an Enrolled Agent, previous RTRP Exam Review Students will be eligible to upgrade to the ExamMatrix Enrolled Agent Exam Review at a 35% discount from our retail price.
5. In addition to the six-hour Annual Refresher Course, I will need 5 additional hours of CE this year and then 12 additional hours of CE each year beginning in 2016. Will ExamMatrix be offering other courses? In addition to the six-hour IRS Annual Tax Refresher Course, ExamMatrix will be offering additional IRS Approved CE Course through our partnerships with The Income Tax School and CCH Small Firm Services. Please go to www.ExamMatrix.com/(CE Web page) for more information.
Should you have any additional questions on the new IRS voluntary Annual Filing Season Program, please contact us at 800-272-7277 (303-768-0929) with any questions.