Many taxpayers are aware that it is possible to exclude gains earned on selling a home from their income tax return. However, a common question is how often and how many times a taxpayer can exclude such gains from their taxes? This article addresses these questions. The tax law that grants taxpayers the right to exclude gains on selling their...Read more...
What is an Annual Filing Season Tax Refresher Course (AFTR)?
A Guide for Tax Professionals
An Annual Federal Tax Filing Season Refresher Course (an “AFTR Course”) is a special type of IRS Approved continuing education course designed specifically to be part of the Annual Filing Season Program's (“AFSP”) requirements, and is required to be taken by any non-exempt tax preparer, in addition to other requirements, in order for such tax professionals to obtain the AFSP credential each year. Fuller Professional Education will be providing an IRS Approved AFTR Course each year. An AFTR Course is a 6.0 credit hour course, the content of which is provided by guidance from the IRS each year. The IRS each year chooses tax topics for the AFTR course based on what they have determined need to be covered: such topics could be new tax concepts arising from changes in the law, or traditional tax topics where the IRS finds tax preparers are commonly making mistakes in preparing tax returns. Do you have questions regarding AFTR Courses? E-mail us with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elements of an AFTR Course
The two basic elements of an AFTR Course are 6.0 credits of instruction and a 100-question comprehension test that is administered through the AFTR Course. The 6.0 credits of instruction material covered in an AFTR Course is separated into three domains, and the topics in each domain will change each year depending on the IRS’s specifications. The three domains cover “General Review” topics, “New Tax Law/Recent Updates” topics, and “Ethics, Practices and Procedures” topics. The IRS plans to release the list of topics within each domain to IRS Approved Providers each year after the April tax filing season. IRS Approved Providers will then be able to provide AFTR Courses to tax professionals who wish to obtain or renew their AFSP credential beginning on June 1st each year.
Topics Covered in an AFTR Course
As stated, the IRS requires that an AFTR Course cover all the topics in the list they distribute to IRS Approved Providers each year. For example, the topics to be covered in a 2014 AFTR Course are as follows:
AFTR Course Topics Outline (for 2015 Filing Season)
|Domain 1: New Tax Law/Recent Updates Topics **|
|Domain 2: General Review Topics|
|Domain 3: Ethics, Practices and Procedures Topics|
** The IRS gives IRS Approved Providers the option to include additional materials in the New Tax Law/Recent Updates domain that are enacted after the IRS releases its outline each year.
How does an AFTR Course Comprehension Test Work?
Based on specifications given by the IRS, the required 100-question comprehension test is administered through the provider the tax professional uses to take the AFTR Course. The comprehension test may be delivered in the same manner as the instruction of the AFTR Course. For example, Fuller Professional Education’s AFTR Course and comprehension test are both delivered online through the user’s web browser. The test is also timed: tax professionals taking the comprehension test at the end of an AFTR Course can be given a maximum of 3 hours to complete the 100-question test. The questions in the comprehension test can consist of a combination of multiple choice and true/false questions. The minimum passing score for the comprehension test is 70%. All the questions on the comprehension test must be based on the material covered in the AFTR Course, except that the inflationary adjustments from Domain 1 (discussed above) are not required to be tested as part of the comprehension test.
Once a tax professional completes the AFTR Course instruction materials and successfully passes the comprehension test, the IRS Approve Provider uses the tax professional’s PTIN number to upload confirmation of completing the requirement to the IRS. Once the tax professional has completed all the requirements for obtaining the AFSP credential, the tax professional will officially be an AFSP and will be able to download and/or print a certificate of their new designation from their PTIN online user account.
 - Exempt tax professionals are not required to take an AFTR Course in order to obtain the AFSP tax designation. For more information on who qualifies as an exempt tax professional, see Obtaining an Annual Filing Season Program.
 - In Fuller Professional Education’s AFTR Course, both the instruction material and comprehension test are delivered and administered online through your web browser.
Why Choose Fuller for Continuing Education?
There are several reasons why you should go with Fuller Professional Education when completing your continuing education. How about we name a few?
Thousands of customers have counted on Fuller Professional Education to deliver quality online CE.
Fuller Professional Education is hands-down the quickest way to complete your continuing education requirements. Get started in minutes!
You won't find better value for the quality CE you'll receive with Fuller Professional Education. Why waste your money elsewhere?
Our multimedia courses greatly enhance your learning while keeping you engaged. Just sit back and enjoy!
Fully Accredited Courses
Fuller Professional Education is a continuing education provider fully accredited by the Internal Revenue Service and the California Tax Education Council.
Our courses aren't just carbon copies of IRS Publications - we take you in-depth and give you a real understanding of key tax concepts in every course. We promise you'll learn something new every time.
Latest Tax Blog Posts
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Both of IRS Forms 944 and 941 are used by employers to report employment taxes to the IRS. These taxes include social security tax, medicare tax, additional medicare tax and federal income tax withheld from employee paychecks when payroll is run. Form 944 is an annual report of employment taxes, while the Form 941 is a quarterly report of payroll...Read more...
Sun, February 12 2017
When completing a Form 1040, there is often confusion related to Form 1040, Line 10. When are state and local income tax refunds taxable? When are they not taxable? Prior-Year State and Local Taxes Deduction and Taxable Income Whether or not refunds of state or local taxes are taxable depends on the answers to the following questions: Whether or not...Read more...
Mon, February 06 2017
Under U.S. tax law, taxation of partnerships is governed by Subchapter K of the Internal Revenue Code, and this particular field of tax is widely understood as the most sophisticated area of taxation regimes in the United States. Much of the sophisticated (and potentially counter-intuitive) methods found in Subchapter K stem from two competing approaches to how we view the...Read more...
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