I think I just won the “Confusing Acronym Olympics” with that blog post headline!
I’ve used a confusing headline because–and tell me if this makes sense–I’m hoping this blog post will clarify some things related to the IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) as it pertains to CTEC-registered tax professionals.
We have been getting hundreds upon hundreds of phone calls and emails from CTEC tax preparers over the past few months about AFSP and this has forced us to find out the answers to a wide variety of questions about this mysterious beast known as AFSP.
Let’s start with the most “time sensitive” questions because we are running up against the December 31st deadline for AFSP and I know our thousands of RenewCTEC.com Members have questions you’ve been eagerly waiting or us to answer such as when the **** are your hours going to show up in your PTIN account or do you have to beat it out of us.
So, here goes…
“When you say December 31st deadline, what do you mean by that? Because deadlines freak me out.”
Good question. The December 31st deadline is to complete your AFSP course. It is not the deadline to register for AFSP. If you have not completed your course by December 31st, you’re not eligible for AFSP for 2017.
But you can complete your course, say, December 30th and register for AFSP January 27th and you’ll still have AFSP for 2017. According the IRS, you have until April 17, 2017 to complete the AFSP sign up process from within your PTIN account.
If you have not completed your course, sign up now and get started. Everything else, there is no reason to freak out, because you have plenty of time. Completing the course is the only thing you need to do by December 31 so get started now.
“What does “complete the AFSP sign up process from within your PTIN account” mean?”
Go into your PTIN account and “sign off” on the Circular 230 requirements. Here’s a video from IRS showing how to complete the “final steps” of joining the AFSP program from within your PTIN account.
The IRS sent out an email recently title “ACTION REQUIRED: IRS Annual Filing Season Program Eligibility Notice.” Here’s the money quote from that email:
To officially participate and receive your 2017 Annual Filing Season Program – Record of Completion, you must log into your PTIN account and:
1) Renew your PTIN and
2) Consent to the duties and restrictions relating to practice before the IRS in subpart B and section 10.51 of Treasury Department Circular No. 230.
To participate in the Annual Filing Season Program for 2017, you must sign the consent by April 17, 2017.
To access the log in page, visit www.irs.gov/ptin. After you log in, renew your PTIN (if you haven’t already) and then select “AFSP Record of Completion – Circular 230 Consent”.
For more information about the Annual Filing Season Program, including a video demonstration of how to complete the Circular 230 Consent, visit www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/
“Does the RenewCTEC.com course qualify for AFSP?”
Yes. As long as you’re currently a CTEC-registered tax preparer, you can use the RenewCTEC.com course to satisfy the AFSP hours. Kill two birds with one stone, no extra course necessary, this course does it all for California tax pros.
“How do I see if my hours have been reported to IRS?”
Once you log into your PTIN account, there should be a button at the bottom of the screen that says “View My Continuing Education Credits” and, if you took our course, you should see there: Ethics 2 hours, Federal Tax Update 3 hours, and Other Federal Tax Topics 10 hours.
These are all the hours required for CTEC tax preparers to participate in the AFSP program.
“Why has it taken so long for Pronto to report my IRS hours, I thought you guys were supposed to be “Pronto”?”
Funny. We have not been able to report IRS hours because the IRS system for reporting hours has been offline for months. We have now reported all students who completed the RenewCTEC course and provided us with a valid PTIN.
“What if I completed the course, but my hours aren’t in my PTIN account?”
There are two reasons this could be the case:
1) We have reported your hours, and IRS has not “posted” them yet. They have promised us by end of day Thursday, December 29th, that they should be caught up. Please wait until then before contacting us or the IRS.
2) You inputted a non-matching name and/or PTIN into our system at time of sign up for our course, and we have attempted to report your hours, but the IRS has rejected our upload. If your name and PTIN do not match up exactly with what the IRS has in their records, the IRS hours system may reject our reporting of your hours. So far, we have 599 rejected PTINs, most of which appear to be related to Members inputting invalid PTINs into our system (for example, putting your CTEC number instead of your PTIN).
Email us your name and PTIN exactly as they appear on IRS records to firstname.lastname@example.org if you think that an incorrect PTIN may be the cause of your hours not showing up. We will just have to work through these one by one. If you invested in the $49 version of our course, you have “free user error reporting” and there will be no extra charge for the extra work related to fixing your information.
“What if I don’t know what my PTIN is or how my name appears on IRS records?”
Log into your PTIN account and the information should be there.
“What if I can’t get logged into my PTIN account?”
Here’s a video showing how to resolve common PTIN log in issues. If you need further assistance, you can call the IRS Tax Professional Hotline at 877-613-7846.
How long does it take to get my AFSP Certificate?
According to IRS, the process should be instantaneous once you log into your PTIN account, as shown in this video.
What is the importance of the IRS Annual Filing Season Program?
You maintain the right to correspond with IRS regarding tax returns you personally prepared and signed.
Is the AFSP program mandatory?
No, it’s optional.
Hope this helps…
If you have any other questions please email us and we will answer those questions and add them to this list.
Thanks as always.