The IRS has prevailed in court in regards to a lawsuit filed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to block the IRS’ new Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP)
The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is an IRS effort to recognize tax preparers who aspire to a higher degree of professionalism. The program entails tax preparers taking a prescribed amount of IRS approved continuing education and then awarding them the designation of AFSP.
Benefits of the program include ensuring that tax preparers are current and fully up to date for the upcoming filing season. Tax preparers who complete the AFSP are included in a public directory of tax preparers with select qualifications which not only allows AFSP qualified tax preparers to advertise their advanced qualifications but also to allow prospective tax clients to choose a tax preparer who is fully up to date on any new laws and changes in the tax code.
The court ruled that the AICPA lacked standing and would not be harmed by the Annual Filing Season Program.
The IRS has previously stated that the AFSP is a temporary effort to educate tax preparers while it continues to seek legislative approval to mandatorily administer the program.
Tax preparers who wish to participate in the program must complete the required continuing education hours from an approved provider before 12/31/2014. For more information on the AFSP please call 1-800-605-3538.