Final Days for Completing IRS Annual Filing Season Program Requirements
As the year draws to a close, the time is fast expiring for tax professionals to complete the requirements for the IRS’s new Annual Filing Season Program. In order to participate in the program for 2015, tax professionals must complete specific continuing education requirements by December 31, 2014. The specific CE requirements vary for participants in the program who are exempt tax preparers, non-exempt tax preparers, and credentialed tax professionals (such as attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, etc.). To participate in the program in 2015, non-exempt tax preparers must complete 11 hours of Continuing Education in 2014, which must include a six hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher course and exam as well as three hours of federal tax law and two hours of ethics credits. Exempt prepares must complete only 8 hours of Continuing Education to participate, which CE includes three hours of updates courses, two hours of ethics and three hours of federal tax law courses. Upon completion of the CE requirements, exempt and non-exempt tax preparers receive a certificate of completion from the IRS and will be included in the IRS’s new tax preparer database.
Since the CE requirements are significant, tax professionals who wait until the last day may have difficulty completing the requirements in time. While the CE hours are based on a 50 minute hour, tax professionals should be careful to budget their time as the actual time to complete the courses may not necessarily correspond with the CE hours offered. This is particularly true for the Annual Federal Tax Refresher course which includes a 100 question 3 hour timed exam. Just like with tax season, it’s best not to wait until the last day to complete the requirements.
- Credentialed tax professionals do not actually participate in the Annual Filing Season Program because they are automatically included in the IRS’s database of credentialed tax professionals and these types of preparers also already have the right to represent clients before the IRS. See Frequently Asked Questions: Annual Filing Season Program (IRS, Last Updated December 3, 2014).↵
- Fuller Professional Education offers continuing education for both Exempt and Non-Exempt Tax Professionals seeking to participate in the IRS’s new Annual Filing Season Program.↵