For year ending 12/31/15 for 2016 tax filing season
4 steps to obtaining the AFSP Record of Completion:
Step 1: Renew your PTIN for 2016.
Step 3: Receive email notice from IRS (TaxPro_PTIN (at) irs.gov) that you have met all the requirements of the AFSP.
Step 4: Login to your PTIN account at www.irs.gov/ptin to agree to the terms.
On the Main Menu, select "AFSP Record of Completion - Circular 230 Consent" (or if you have a credential such as EA or CPA etc), the option will read "Elect to Participate in AFSP."
Follow the screen prompts to elect to participate.
In 24 hours, you should log in again to find a printable Record of Completion in your "View my messages" mailbox.
Other benefits of obtaining the AFSP Record of Completion
Listed on the IRS site
You will be listed on the IRS website in the "Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications."
Additional representation rights as an AFSP
AFSP participants will have limited representation rights, meaning they can represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
PTIN holders without an AFSP – Record of Completion or other professional credential will only be permitted to prepare tax returns. They will not be allowed to represent clients before the IRS.
Add credentials to you business card
Tax preparers can add the term "AFSP - Record of Completion" to business cards, stationary, email signatures, etc.
If you do not get the email notice from the IRS
The first thing to check if you do not get the notice that you have met the requirements for the AFSP, is to login to your PTIN account at the IRS website, and verify all the CE hours you have completed have been posted to your account. If the hours have not been posted, contact your CE Provider (BestCPE, for example) by email to find out if possibly there was a problem posting your hours.
When are the IRS Certificate of Completion emails sent out?
The IRS indicated to us that the AFSP emails are sent once a week on Thursday nights. You would be expected to receive the email on the Thursday following your completion of all required courses. If you complete your courses on a Thursday, you would receive the email the following Thursday, due to the 24 hour time lag of the IRS posting your hours to your PTIN account.