The approved continuing education program must be completed within the calendar year to qualify for the 2018 filing season.
The Annual Filing Season Program will be an interim step to help taxpayers and encourage education for unenrolled tax return preparers. The IRS continues to pursue legislative authority to mandate a continuing competency program. In the meantime the IRS will administer a uniform voluntary examination in future years in order to ensure basic return preparer competency.
Completion of courses from an IRS approved required will satisfy the completion. The yearly requirements for 2017 and beyond for Non-Exempt status tax preparers is 18 hours. Which consists of a 6 hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR), 10 hours of federal tax law and 2 hours of ethics. The yearly requirements 2016 and beyond for Exempt status tax preparers is 15 hours. Which consists of 10 hours of federal tax law, 3 hours of tax law updates, and 2 hours of ethics
Anyone with a PTIN is eligible to participate in the program. Enrolled Agents, CPA’s and RTRP’s have an exempt status that will reduce the number of hours required.