Effective January 1, 2016, there will be changes to the representation rights of tax preparers who are not an attorney, certified public accountant (CPA) or enrolled agent (EA). The change will impact CTEC Registered Tax Preparers (CRTPs).
Attorneys, CPAs and EAs will continue to be the only tax professionals with unlimited representation rights- meaning they can represent clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues and appeals.
Tax preparers who choose to participate in the IRS’ voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) will have limited representation rights- meaning they can represent their clients whose tax returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
Tax preparers, including CRTPs, who do not obtain the IRS AFSP-Record of Completion, will not be able to do any representation and will only be allowed to prepare tax returns starting January 1, 2016.
Again, CRTPs who would like to have limited representation rights will need to obtain the IRS AFSP-Record of Completion.
How to Participate
CRTPs who wish to participate in the IRS program for 2016 must complete the requirements by December 31, 2015.
The AFSP-Record of Completion is for one tax year. Participants must meet the requirements each year in order to receive a record of completion, maintain limited representation rights and also be included in the IRS public database of tax professionals.
Participants are required to obtain a valid IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), pass the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course and test, plus meet federal continuing education (CE) requirements.
Some tax preparers, including CRTPs, are exempt from the AFTR course and test. CTEC federal CE hours can also be transferred to the IRS to fulfill its educational requirement for the program.
CRTPs cannot participate in the IRS program until their registration is current with CTEC.
New CRTPs who are also interested in applying for the AFSP-Record of Completion will need to complete 15 hours of federal CE from an approved education provider, in addition to CTEC’s 60 hours of qualifying education (QE) requirement.
The IRS does not accept QE hours as a substitute for federal CE hours. New CRTPS will need to complete initial registration requirements and federal CE hours by December 31, 2015 it they want to participate in the program.
Please be advised all tax preparers who completed the requirements for the AFSP- Record of Completion will not be listed on the IRS database until January 1, 2016.
Click here for details on how to apply for the voluntary program.
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