Understanding IRS AFSP Guidelines

Understanding IRS AFSP Guidelines (1)

The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is a voluntary program designed to recognize tax preparers who have completed a certain level of tax education and have met the IRS’s standards for tax preparation. Becoming an AFSP Record of Completion holder can not only enhance your professional development, but also demonstrate your commitment to compliance standards. In this article, we will discuss the guidelines for becoming an AFSP Record of Completion holder and how it can benefit your tax preparation career.

Understanding the Requirements

Before you can become an AFSP Record of Completion holder, you must meet certain requirements set by the IRS. These requirements include:

  • Obtaining an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
  • Completing 18 hours of continuing education (CE) courses
  • Passing a tax compliance check.
  • The CE courses must include a minimum of 6 hours of federal tax law updates, 2 hours of ethics, and 10 hours of other federal tax law topics.
  • Courses must be completed by December 31st of the year prior to the filing season.

Choosing the Right CE Provider

When selecting a CE provider, it is important to ensure that they are an IRS-approved provider. This means that their courses have been reviewed and approved by the IRS to meet the requirements for the AFSP program. You can find a list of approved providers on the IRS website. It is also important to choose courses that are relevant to your tax preparation practice and will help you stay up-to-date on current tax laws and regulations.

Universal Accounting School is an IRS-approved provider specializing in skill-focused programs that emphasize crucial aspects of small business accounting, tax preparation, and business fundamentals, bypassing lengthy academic endeavors. Our programs aid accounting and tax firms in cultivating more lucrative client portfolios.

We empower individuals to initiate or elevate their careers in bookkeeping, accounting, and tax, enabling them to secure deserving promotions and attain their true earning potential.



Universal Accounting Center provides cost-effective, self-paced training programs like the Professional Tax Preparer Online Program. These programs enable individuals to attain certification as IRS-approved tax preparers. This certification empowers you to play a vital role in aiding clients in navigating intricate tax codes, recognizing eligible deductions and credits, and producing precise tax returns capable of withstanding thorough scrutiny.

Become a certified Professional Tax Preparer™ with Universal Accounting® and elevate your accounting expertise. Gain the skills to offer top-tier tax planning and preparation services, boosting your income by over $100 per hour. Our Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) Online Program not only equips you with tax expertise but also includes AFSP training, ensuring compliance and confidence in your tax practice.

Maintaining Compliance Standards

As an AFSP Record of Completion holder, you are expected to maintain compliance with IRS regulations and standards. This includes following the IRS’s Circular 230 guidelines, which outline the ethical responsibilities of tax professionals. It is important to stay informed about any changes or updates to these guidelines to ensure that you are meeting the necessary standards.

Benefits of Being an AFSP Record of Completion Holder

Becoming an AFSP Record of Completion holder can bring many benefits to your tax preparation career.

  • It demonstrates to clients and potential employers that you have met the IRS’s standards for tax preparation and are committed to staying up-to-date on tax laws and regulations.
  • It can also give you a competitive edge in the job market, as many employers prefer to hire tax preparers who have completed the AFSP program.
  • Being an AFSP Record of Completion holder can open up opportunities for professional development and networking within the tax preparation community.


IRS Announces 2024 Tax Inflation Adjustments

The IRS has revealed that tax inflation adjustments for 2024 have risen by 5.4% from the previous year. The top tax rate of 37% now applies to individuals earning over $609,350, up from $578,125 in 2023.

For lower earners, the lowest threshold of 10% applies to those making $11,600 or less, up from $11,000 in 2023. This means taxpayers could see fluctuations in their tax bills compared to the previous year.

For instance, someone earning $45,000 in taxable income in 2023 paid $5,207.16 in taxes, whereas in 2024, they would pay approximately $40 less, totaling $5,167.88.

The release of these adjustments prompts individuals to proactively plan for potential tax liabilities in 2025. More details are available on the IRS.gov website.


The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is a valuable program for tax preparers looking to enhance their professional development and demonstrate their commitment to compliance standards. By understanding the requirements, choosing the right CE provider, and maintaining compliance, you can become an AFSP Record of Completion holder and reap the benefits it brings to your tax preparation career.

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