Professional Course

Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course

6 hours
49 USD + tax
Next course start
Start anytime! See details
Self-paced Online
6 hours
49 USD + tax
Next course start
Start anytime! See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

Holding a pen-the income tax school

Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course

The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is an annual voluntary IRS tax training program for return preparers. It aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism.

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Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

Start anytime!

  • Self-paced Online
  • Online

Who should attend?


The AFTR is a short federal tax refresher course for experienced tax preparers and will not enable a person who is not an experienced tax preparer to learn how to prepare income tax returns. If you are interested in becoming a tax preparer, you should consider the Comprehensive Tax Course.

How Do I Qualify for the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP)?

  • You must have an active PTIN.
  • You must complete 18 hours of continuing education (CE) by December 31st annually, using an IRS Approved Provider.
  • You must sign the IRS Circular 230 – Consent Form.

Here is the breakdown of credit hours for non-credentialed/non-exempt or unenrolled preparers who want an AFSP – Record of Completion:

  • 18 hours of CE annually from an IRS Approved Provider include the following:
    • 6 hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course with a comprehension test
    • 10 hours of Federal tax law topics
    • 2 hours of Ethics education

Am I Exempt from the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course?

Tax return preparers who have successfully completed one of the following national or state tests would be exempt from taking the AFTR course with a comprehension test.

  • Registered Tax Return Preparers (RTRP)
  • Oregon/California and other state based return preparer testing programs
  • Accredited Tax Preparers through Accreditation Council for Accountancy/Taxation
  • Part 1 of the Special Enrollment Exam during 2 year eligibility window
  • Successful VITA program reviewers and instructors

Students must be completed with a passing score by 12/31 each year for it to be accepted by the IRS.

The Income Tax School will provide support for this product and all other CE through 12/28 each year. We highly recommend completion of this course prior to 12/28 to ensure the following support:

  • Instructor
  • Administrative
  • Technical

Training content

Course Description

  • 6 hour course
  • Plus, 100 question comprehension test (3-hr timed test)
  • Prior tax preparation experience/knowledge is required

AFTR Course Topics Include

  • New Tax Law Updates/Most Recent Updates Available*

    • Highlights include:
      • Inflation Adjustments
      • Increase in Repair Regulation Safe Harbor Amounts
      • Summary of the PATH Act of 2015 for Individuals
      • Review of Tax Return Due Dates, Including Extensions
  • General Review

    • Highlights include:
      • Filing Status
      • Tax Related Identity Theft
      • ITINs
      • Dependency Exemptions
      • Taxability of Income and Earnings
      • Schedule B, Part III, Foreign Accounts and Trusts
      • Taxable Refunds, Credits or Offsets of State and Local Taxes
      • Unemployment Compensation
      • Self-Employment
        • Income
          • Business vs Hobby
          • Gross Receipts
        • Expenses
          • Car and Truck Expenses
          • Business Use of Home
        • Recordkeeping Requirements
      • Reporting and Taxability of Social Security Benefits
      • IRAs, Pensions, Annuities and Penalties for Early Withdrawals
        • IRA Rollover Limits (one per year)
        • Early Withdrawal Penalty
      • Schedule D and Form 8949, Capital Gains and Losses
      • Credits & Eligibility Rules
        • Credits Related to Qualified Child(ren), EIC, Child Tax and Additional Child Tax
        • Child & Dependent Care
        • Education Credits
        • Retirement Savings Contribution Credit
      • ACA Provisions
        • Reconciliation of Advanced Premium Tax Credit
        • Individual Shared Responsibility Payment
        • Understanding Reporting for Forms 1095A, 1095B and 1095C
      • Adjustments to Income
      • Itemized vs Standard Deductions
      • Payment and Refund Options (including maximum of 3 deposits in one account)
      • Withholdings and Estimated Tax Payments
  • Ethics, Practices and Procedures

    • Highlights include:
      • Requirement:
        • To Furnish the Taxpayer with a Copy of a Return and Related Penalty for Not Doing So
        • For Signing the Return as a Return Preparer and Related Penalty for Not Doing So
        • To Furnish Identifying Number as Return Preparer and the Related Penalty for Not Doing So
        • To Retain a Copy of the Return or List and Related Penalty for Not Doing So
      • Prohibition of Negotiation of Client Refund Checks
      • Due Diligence (Form 8867 and EIC Worksheets)
      • E-file Compliance Procedures
        • Timing of Taxpayer Signature
        • Timing of Filing
        • Recordkeeping
        • Prohibited Filing with Pay Stub
        • Proper Handling of Rejected Returns
      • Penalties for Negligent or Intentional Disregard of Rules and Regulations and for Willful Understatement of Liability including PATH ACT Changes
      • Annual Filing Season Requirements
          • Adherence to Duties and Restrictions Found in Sup-part B and Section 10.51 of Circular 230.
          • Limited Representation Rights

    *New tax laws enacted, provision changes or updates that occur after publication of this course will be included in the TAX LAW UPDATE provided at various intervals throughout the year, with the final update being posted in December.


    Course Fees

    The cost of this Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course is $49.00.

    Certification / Credits

    Certificate of Achievement awarded upon completion. The IRS will be notified upon successful completion of the course/test. Student must complete remaining requirements through the IRS to qualify for the IRS - Record of Completion.

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    The Income Tax School
    The Income Tax School, Inc.
    10120 W. Broad St, Suite A.
    23060 Glen Allen

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