California Tax Education Council

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Why Participate in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program? Here’s Two Important Reasons Why...

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 21 comments

Did you know CTEC Registered Tax Preparers (CRTPs) are exempt from most of the IRS voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) requirements?

To participate, CRTPs are only required to have their CTEC renewal registration completed no later than December 31, 2019 (the IRS deadline for AFSP) and sign the Circular 230 form.

Below is a summary of benefits for participating in the program.


Limited Representation Rights

CRTPs who plan to represent clients during IRS examinations must participate in the program to receive limited representation rights. Limited representation rights allow tax preparers to represent 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.

To have limited practice rights, CRTPs must be an AFSP participant in both the year the tax return was prepared and the year of representation.

Additionally, unless you are an AFSP participant, you cannot use IRS Form 2848 (Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative) for clients.


Listed on IRS Website

AFSP participates will be included on the IRS public directory of tax preparers to help taxpayers search for tax preparers with credentials and qualifications.

To learn more at


celina commented on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What happens if the school I took the 60 hr course in does not report my hours within 10 days. Am I still able to mail it in myself?

Julian Garcia commented on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

This process has been very ridiculous. For 3 weeks already I’ve been trying to contact CTEC but the phone keeps getting cut out. I tried registering and logging into CTEC only to find out that the information I put in is invalid. This is really hurting business as I am waiting for my CTEC license number in order to start preparing. After the 60 hr coarse I thought the CTEC website registration would be an easy process. I was wrong.

Paulin Noaman commented on Monday, January 6, 2020

When can I apply with ctec? Because everytime that i try to sign up, it says invalid. Do i have to wait until my completion has been sent? And if so how long does that usually take?

CTEC replied on Monday, January 6, 2020

You can register with CTEC once your education provider has reported the required education to CTEC. They have 10 days from the date the course was completed to do so...

A. Harrison commented on Friday, January 3, 2020

Celina - I had the same problem, so I just kept calling. Eventually I got through to a live person (they don't seem to have an automated system).

Celina commented on Friday, January 3, 2020

I have called the number provided from the website however after 1-2 minutes of ringing it just hunts up on its own so I never get through to anyone or an automated system.

A. Harrison commented on Friday, January 3, 2020

UPDATE - Renewal registration is back up and running. Looks like the January 15 deadline is being recognized.

Rohit Puri commented on Thursday, January 2, 2020

Completed all my CE’s on 12-31-19 in anticipation of once again doing ASFP. I paid for my Bond Renewal w/ Merchant’s Bonding Company on 12-31-19. I went to CTEC see if my 23 completed units had posted to the account. 3 units completed 11-30-19, 20 completed on 12-31-19. Web CE notified me all evidence of completions were sent to Ctec by 1-2-20. The IRS has already updated my CE record for this cycle. Yet on my CTEC page it’s telling me I need to take 60 hour tax preparer course again? On top of that, the 877-850-2832 number never picked up my call when I tried calling 12-31-19 and today 1-2-20. What the hell CTEC?

Alonso Santana commented on Thursday, January 2, 2020

A Harrison- they now have a message stating the website is down. Did they mention to you the renewal deadline. It should be January 15, 2020.

A. Harrison commented on Thursday, January 2, 2020

Celina - I used the contact number listed at the bottom of this page - (877) 850-2832. It took a LONG time for somebody to answer, and I was placed on hold for a similarly long wait. But I eventually got through to somebody who told me the problem was being addressed.

Celina commented on Thursday, January 2, 2020

I can’t reach anyone from the number provided on the CTEC website. I have called numerous times. Does the number provided still work?

A. Harrison commented on Thursday, January 2, 2020

UPDATE - Good news - I got through to somebody at CTEC and they said that they are working on the registration renewal problem now and we should be able to complete our renewals later today, or tomorrow at the latest.

Alonso Santana commented on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

There is no such message. If they did change it, they did not do a good job at announcing the new change. The message I was getting as of 12/30/19 was with January 15, 2020 deadline.

A. Harrison commented on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Alonso santana - You're right, the 12/31/2019 deadline is for the AFSP program, but it still means that one should be able to renew their CETEC registration by at least that date. In the past, the deadline was January 15th, so I would think they would stick to this schedule, or clearly announce the change of date. I cannot find any such message. I'm sure this will be resolved shortly, seeing as so many people have reported the same problem. Thanks for all the confirmations that you're experiencing the same trouble. Happy New Year to all, and here's to a successful tax season!

Alonso santana commented on Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Julie commented on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

same issue. just completed my 20 hours and it's telling me I need 60 hours.

Alonso Santana commented on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

I came across the same issue. I think we have until January 15,2020 to renew. The AFTR requires CE completed by midnight. , but I believe that is a voluntary program with the IRS. We will hav eye wait until Thursday.

Ana Corona commented on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Same Issue, not able to renew, I took the 20 hours course, it says that 60 hours is need it. Help, What can I do

Heidi Baxley commented on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Yes, I am being told the same as well.

L. Mercado Alvarado commented on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

I have the same issue. I log in to my account and it also stated that I needed to take the 60-hour course. I have completed my course as well before renewal.

A. Harrison commented on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Is anybody else having trouble with their renewal? I'm being told that my registration has expired and I'm required to take the 60-hour course, even though I've completed the 20 hours for renewal. Everything was fine yesterday (when I uploaded the scan of my bond certificate), but now I am unable to complete the renewal. And it is clearly still 12/31/2019 (the deadline, as indicated above). Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.