How to Download Your AFSP Record of Completion Through Your PTIN Account
We receive a lot of questions on how to obtain the Record of Completion after qualifying to receive one under the new IRS Annual Filing Season Program. This article will help to explain how it’s done, and run you through the process required. If you’ve completed the requirements to obtain your AFSP Record of Completion, by the end of this process you’ll be able to download, print, and make use of the Record of Completion certificate to show to clients or employers, etc. that you’ve met the minimum competency and continuing education requirements to participate in the program.
That said, in order to participate in the AFSP program each year, you must first do the following:
- Have an active PTIN registration
- Complete the necessary CE requirements, which vary depending on whether you’re an exempt or non-exempt preparer
- Consent to be subject to portions of the Circular 230 (we’ll demonstrate how this works later on in this video)
Once you have met all of these requirements, you should soon thereafter receive an e-mail from the IRS that informs you that you’ve completed the requirements for your AFSP Record of Completion and that you’re now eligible (see picture below). As a precaution, make sure that the e-mail came from the address “TaxPro_PTIN@irs.gov”. If you don’t get the e-mail, but you are certain you’ve qualified under the program, you can always just pick up on this process by signing into your PTIN account as demonstrated in the next step. You can either click on the link in the e-mail to go directly to the PTIN sign in page, or else go to http://www.irs.gov/ptin to access your account.
Once you get to the PTIN home page, you will want to click on the link that says “login now” to go to the page where you can sign into your online PTIN account using your username and password. Your username is usually the e-mail address that you used when you registered for your PTIN account with the IRS. After singing into your PTIN account, you should see an extra box at the top of your options that says “AFSP Record of Completion” and “Circular 230 Consent”. Inside that box, you want to click on the “Select” button to begin the process of consenting to Circular 230 and obtaining your AFSP Record of Completion.
You will then be taken to a page where you will be prompted to give consent to “abide by the duties and restrictions relating to practice before the IRS in subpart B and Section 10.51 of Circular 230.” Of course, it’s up to you whether you want to give your consent, but if you want your AFSP Record of Completion, you’re required to do so. You will click on the “yes” radio button and then click on the “Next” button to move to the next step.
You are then taken to another page where you, essentially, certify that you are not lying when you said that you are consenting to be subject to the parts of Circular 230, as previously discussed. You will click “yes” and click “submit” to complete the consent process.
Finally, you will be taken to a “Summary Report” page where it informs you that you have successfully completed all the steps to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program for the year, and you will receive your AFSP Record of Completion within 24 hours through your PTIN account secure mailbox. When they say within 24 hours, they actually mean it, but your Record of Completion most likely will not immediately show up. So for now, you can sit back and relax—the IRS will send you an e-mail once your Record of Completion is ready.
If you would like, you can click on the “View PDF Summary Button” to view a PDF version of this page, which will look a lot like this. You can download and save this document, but I’m not entirely sure why you would want this file saved, other than for records purposes to help cover for the off chance that the IRS PTIN system doesn’t properly recognize that you’ve consented to Circular 230 or some such sort of thing. Certainly this is optional.
Within a day or so, you should receive another e-mail from the same TaxPro_PTIN@irs.gov email address, which will let you know that your Record of Completion is provided on your PTIN account mailbox. So once more, you need to go to www.irs.gov/ptin and click to sign into your PTIN account as you have done before. This time when you sign in, things will look a little different. There will be the normal box stating for you to manage your PTIN account, but it will note that you are an AFSP participant for the current year. In order to download your Record of Completion certificate, you need to click on the Select button inside the “View My Messages” box.
You’ll then be taken to your mailbox where you likely have several messages. The top one should be the message that contains your Record of Completion. You’ll click on the “Open” link on the message, but instead of opening a message, it will actually initiate a download of a PDF version of the message, which is actually a good thing if you intend to print out your Record of Completion to display or frame.
After downloading the file, you can open the PDF with Adobe Reader, Acrobat, or some similar software that is capable of reading PDF files. The first page will congratulate you for qualifying for your Record of Completion, and on the second page you will see your AFSP Record of Completion!
Now that you have your Record of Completion, feel free to print it out, display it, or show it to others to prove that you qualified under the AFSP program. So long as you follow the IRS guidelines for doings so, you can also represent to your clients that you’re a tax professional who has completed the requirements necessary to obtain the AFSP designation for the tax season that is listed on your Record of Completion.