The Difference Between Exempt and Non-Exempt Preparers for the IRS’s New Annual Filing Season Program
The IRS recently launched a new voluntary tax preparer program called the Annual Filing Season Program (or AFSP). One of the key distinctions in the program is whether a preparer is exempt or non-exempt as different Continuing Education requirements apply. For instance, non-exempt preparers must complete an Annual Federal Tax Refresher course and exam administered by an IRS-approved CE provider such as Fuller Professional Education, while exempt preparers do not. A non-exempt preparer is a tax preparer who: (i) is not actively licensed as a C.P.A., Attorney, or Enrolled Agent, (ii) has not been certified as a CRTP by either California or Oregon, and (iii) has not been certified as a program instructor or reviewer under the VITA program, (iv) has not passed the first section of the Special Enrollment Exam within the last 24 months or the Accredited Tax Preparer Examination, or (v) has not passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer (or RTRP) exam prior to its discontinuance pursuant to Loving v. IRS.
Additional CE requirements also apply for both exempt and non-exempt preparers to receive a certificate of completion in the AFSP program as an exempt preparer still must complete 15 hours of continuing education per year, while a non-exempt preparer must complete 18 hours (although, for 2014 only the CE requirements have been reduced to 8.0 hours for exempt preparers and 11 hours for non-exempt preparers). Fuller Professional Education provides convenient online continuing education bundles that meet all of the requirements of the AFSP program for both Non-Exempt Preparers and Exempt Preparers alike.
- See Exempt v. Non-Exempt Tax Professionals (Fuller Professional Education); New! Annual Filing Season Program (IRS, June 30, 2014)↵
- For more specific information on the CE requirements see How to Obtain the Annual Filing Season Program Credential: A Guide for the Tax Pros (Fuller Professional Education).↵