The Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) is the "testing portion" of the IRS Annual Filing S
Unless you're a member of an "exempt" group, you must pass the AFTR test in order to earn your AFSP credential.
In other words, passing this AFTR is part of earning the AFSP credential.
The benefits of earning your AFSP credential are two-fold:
- You will be listed in a publicly-available list of tax professionals that shows which educational credentials each tax professional possesses. The idea here is that any member of the public who is considering using your services could "look you up" in this database and if your name appears and has some letters next to it, you will appear more appealing to clients and potential clients.
- The second benefit is that, as of January 1, 2016, the IRS has updated its policies as to who can and who cannot "represent clients" before the IRS. For calendar year 2016 and beyond, an "unenrolled preparer" (defined as a tax preparer who's not either an EA or CPA) can no longer represent clients before the IRS at all, even with respect to a tax return that the preparer both prepared and signed. In other words, if you don't pass this test and get those AFSP letters next to your name, you'll have no ability to contact the IRS on behalf of your clients.
To be very honest with you, I don't know of any member of the public who knows what AFSP is or would ever look in the IRS database to see if you have those letters next to your name.
However, I do know that if your client gets an IRS letter or gets audited, that client will expect you to help, and if you don't have the AFSP next to your name, your ability to help will be non-existent.
You'll have to tell your client, "I can't help you with your IRS issue."
What is your client going to think of you when you tell your client that?
How many people will that client tell that you let them down in their time of need?
Bottom line, the reason taking this AFTR course and passing this AFTR test is worth your time is because it will preserve your right to represent your clients with an IRS issue if and when your clients ever need your help.
And, that matters...a lot!
If you have questions to decide if this AFTR course is the best fit for you, please feel free to contact our Customer Support Team via email or by phone at (310) 422 - 1283.
Andrew Freiburghouse, known as Andy Frye in "Tax World," is a tax consultant and Enrolled Agent (E.A.) licensed to represent taxpayers before all levels of the IRS.
Andy started his tax career as a tax preparer at Pronto Income Tax of California, Inc., a third-generation family business with multiple locations based in Southern California.
After preparing more than 10,000 tax returns and developing extensive employee training programs within his family business, Andy founded Pronto Tax School, Inc., an online training company that educates and empowers tax professionals and taxpayers nationwide.
Pronto Tax School is an IRS-approved education provider that offers credentialing and continuing education certificate programs, as well as career advancement and business development training.
Andy is a graduate of Santa Clara University, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, and The School of Tax Business Hard Knocks.