IRS Tax Preparer Continuing Education

AFSP: Annual Filing Season Program


Federal Direct is a licensed IRS approved Continuing Education Provider and presents real-world tax education, in a live webinar format that always concludes with an interactive question and answer session covering the session topics. These certified tax preparation courses are presented by our on-staff IRS Enrolled Agents and CPAs who break down confusing topics into easy to understand, plain English scenarios. If you are unavailable to attend a live webinar; we record all webinar trainings and make them available for download and viewing approximately 24 – 48 hours after the live presentation. Continuing tax preparer education credits are also available by watching a previously recorded webinar; however, our tax preparer requirements insist that you take a short quiz to confirm your comprehension of the content presented.

All Federal Direct partners get discounted access to our extensive continuing education library. We make sure you are up to speed on all current tax preparation courses, topics, and IRS tax preparer requirements through our continually updated tax preparer CE library and live webinars.

The ever changing landscape of tax education and tax preparer requirements by the IRS over the past several tax seasons has just about everyone scratching their heads. Federal Direct is a licensed IRS continuing education provider and will make sure you and your office is not only in the know, but also in compliance for becoming a tax preparer!

Federal Direct offers a full range of tax training, tax software training, and continuing education for tax preparers from basic tax topics all the way to IRS tax preparation courses for becoming an Enrolled Agent.

Our Continuing Education Resource Library Covers:


General Tax Topics

  • Dependents – Who Are They & What Tax Benefits Do They Provide
  • Education Credits and Using Tuition as a Deduction
  • Filing Tax Returns Using Bank Products
  • Identity Theft: What to Look For and How to Fix It
  • Itemized Deductions vs. Standard Deductions
  • Obamacare Series: The ACA and Businesses
  • The PPACA and You – How to Complete the ACA Forms in Your Returns
  • Amending Tax Returns – Form 1040X
  • Filing Extensions and Working with Form 4868
  • How to File Tax Returns for Undocumented Aliens – ITINs
  • Income Series: Income Explained
  • Income Series: Self-Employment
  • Income: Which forms Are Used For Reporting and Where Do They Go On A Tax Return
  • ITIN Application Process – General Overview
  • Obamacare Series: The ACA and the Individual
  • Understanding the Principles of Individual Taxation – Recordkeeping
  • Understanding the Principles of Individual Taxation: Basic Tax Overview
  • Understanding the Principles of Individual Taxation: Deductions
  • Working With Rejected Returns – How to Diagnose, Fix, and Resubmit


Tax Law Updates

  • Form 8965 – Rules, Updates, and Scenarios
  • Last-Minute Changes to Tax Year
  • Tax Season Updates: Tax Year



  • Tax Office Due Diligence and the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Circular 230 and You: Your Duties and Responsibilities as a Tax Preparer
  • Understanding the Principles of Individual Taxation: How to Practice Before the IRS

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Tax Preparer Requirements:


Q Do I have to take a test or exam to be a tax preparer?

A No. Shortly before the start of the 2013 tax filing season, the IRS lost their authority to require tax preparers to take and pass the test they were calling the Registered Return Preparer Exam. The IRS’s new program, called the AFSP (Annual Filing Season Program) is now in effect, and is voluntary. Even though this new program is optional there are some disadvantages for those preparers that choose not to participate. If you choose to not take the AFSP you will not be listed on the IRS’ website as an AFSP preparer and you will not have the ability to speak with the IRS regarding tax returns you file.


Q Do I have a required Continuing Education Requirement?

A No. As a tax preparer, you do not have a required continuing education requirement at the Federal level. While many tax preparers choose to take continuing education for their own betterment and to keep up on changing tax laws, it is not a requirement for being a tax preparer. Enrolled Agents and CPAs DO have an annual continuing education requirement, as do tax preparers wanting to obtain the voluntary AFSP designation. Tax preparers should also be aware of different state level continuing education requirements which can differ from state to state. 


Q Do different states have different requirements for being a tax preparer?

A Yes. California, Oregon, New York, and Maryland all have individual state level requirements for tax preparers. If you reside and are preparing tax returns in these states please consult a Federal Direct account representative for the requirements for your state.


Q Do I have to get a PTIN (preparer’s tax identification number)?

A Yes. All tax return preparers who are compensated for preparing or assisting in the preparation of any federal tax returns must possess a valid PTIN, and must renew that PTIN every year they intend to preparer tax returns.


Q What is the fee for obtaining a PTIN?

A $64.25 is the price to initially obtain a PTIN. PTINs must be renewed annually for $50.00.


Q Is there an age requirement to obtain a PTIN?

A Yes. You must be 18 years of age to obtain a PTIN.  


Q Do I have to be a US Citizen to obtain a PTIN?

A Yes, if you are going to be preparing returns within the United States. There is a waiver for this requirement for preparers located outside of the US.


Q Where can I get more information on getting an IRS issued PTIN?

A Federal Direct partners can always contact their account rep for more info and/or assistance with the PTIN registration process, or you can visit the IRS preparers PTIN website at: www.irs.gov/ptin.

As a Federal Direct partner you have access to discounted self-study tools and IRS tax prep courses for obtaining your Enrolled Agent certification or CPA. Testing materials are also available for the previously labeled RTPR examination that now is a voluntary comprehensive IRS tax preparer course focusing on individual tax preparation for personal betterment in the tax preparation field.   These materials are industry leading study tools that provide both traditional physical textbooks as well as online tools for taking practice exams and quizzes on your PC, tablet or smart phone. The tax preparation courses use “intelligent adaptive learning” technologies to sharpen your skills in the areas that you need focus on and prepares you in the most efficient way for taking and passing the Enrolled Agent S.E.E. Exams or the CPA Exams!   These tax preparation courses are the same study materials that many of our in-house staff has used to better their tax knowledge and take and pass their associated EA and CPA exams. If you have questions on the content, delivery methods or study suggestions do not hesitate in giving us a call for more details.   To purchase the courses you can contact us over the phone to get set up or feel free to click on the button below for access to our online shopping cart with Secured PayPal and credit card payment options for getting started.


More info about AFSP Program >

Continuing Ed. & AFSP Pricing >

  • Federal Direct knows the focus and dedication it takes to grow your tax business!

  • Federal Direct provides back office support to free your business up to GROW!

  • Ready to offer tax services to undocumented aliens? We have the training and support to make it happen!

  • Be your clients’ hero! Our in-house Sure & Secure IRS Audit coverage makes you a true Problem Solver!

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