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Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR)

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Exemption from the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR)

Preparers who have successfully completed one of the following national or state tests are exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course with test:

  • Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) - even if you didn't receive the certificate
  • Oregon/California/Maryland and other state based return preparer testing programs
  • Accredited Tax Preparer test offered by the Accreditation Council for Accountancy/Taxation
  • Part I of the Special Enrollment Exam during 2-year eligibility window (you must still be within the 2-year eligibility window on January 1 of filing season)
  • Successful VITA program reviewers and instructors

Refresher Course Information

  • The refresher course will be based on general filing season concepts,​ tax updates and typical trouble areas identified by the IRS.
  • The course and comprehension test must be completed on an annual basis.
  • IRS-approved CPE providers will provide the course and test.
  • The course can be offered in any delivery method.
  • The IRS requires the AFTR to be a minimum of 6 credit hours in length.
  • The AFTR will satisfy the 6 AFTR CPE requirement for non-credentialed/non-exempt or unenrolled tax preparers.

Comprehension Test Information

  • Regardless of delivery method, the AFTR must include a minimum 100-question comprehension test.
  • A passing score is 70% or higher.
  • The test must be completed in 3 hours or less.
  • The test may be taken more than once to obtain a passing score.
  • The IRS will provide an outline each year of the topics that must be covered.

2018​ Filing Season AFTR Course Outline

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