AFTR Course Outline

Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course Outline

Domain 1 – New Tax Law/Recent Updates

  1. Annual inflation adjustments (See Proc. 2016-55)
    • New filing requirement thresholds amounts
    • New standard deduction and personal exemption amounts
    • Increase in preparer penalties for IRC 6695
    • Itemized deductions phase-out amounts
  2. Permanent and temporary tax extenders (PATH Act of 2015)
  3. Review of tax return due dates (e.g. April 17, 2018) including extensions

Domain 2 – General Review

  1. Tax related identity theft (Publication 5199)
  2. Safeguarding Taxpayer Data (Publication 4557)
  3. Overview and expiration of ITINs (Notice 2016-48)
  4. Determination of all five filing statuses
  5. Claiming a dependent
  6. Taxability of wages, salaries, tips, and other earnings
  7. Interest and dividend income (taxable and non-taxable)
  8. Schedule B, Part III foreign accounts and trusts
  9. Taxable refunds, credits, or offsets of state and local taxes
  10. Schedule C Self-employment
    • Definition of income & expenses
    • Business versus hobby
    • Schedule C gross receipts
    • Car and truck expenses (actual standard mileage rate)
    • Business use of home (regular simplified method)
    • Recordkeeping requirements
  11. Reporting and taxability of social security benefits
  12. Overview of capital gains and losses (Schedule D and Form 8949)
  13. Basic overview of pensions, annuities and individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
  14. Adjustments to income
  15. Standard deduction itemized deductions (schedule A)
  16. Schedule A deductions
    • Medical and dental Expenses – including increase in AGI limit (10%) for taxpayers 65 or older
    • Unreimbursed employee expenses
  17. Child and dependent care credit
  18. Education credits
  19. Retirement savings contribution credit
  20. Child tax credit and additional child tax credit
  21. Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions
    • Reconciliation of the advanced premium tax credit
    • Individual shared responsibility payment
    • Understanding reporting for Forms 1095A, 1095B, 1095C
  22. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) , including eligibility rules
  23. Tax withholding and estimated tax payments
  24. Payment (including IR-2016-56) and refund options

Domain 3 –Practices, Procedures and Professional Responsibility

  1. Requirement to furnish taxpayer with a copy of a return and related penalty for not doing so
  2. Requirement for signing the return as a return preparer and related penalty for not doing so
  3. Requirement to furnish identifying number as return preparer and related penalty for not doing so
  4. Requirement to retain copy of return or list and related penalty for not doing so
  5. Prohibition on negotiation of client refund checks
  6. Due diligence in preparing returns (see 6695(g) & Pub 4687)
    • Appropriate use of Form 8867, Paid Preparer’s Due Diligence Checklist
    • Due diligence for Earned Income Tax Credit; Child Tax Credit and American Opportunity Tax Credit
  7. Compliance with e-file procedures (e.g., timing of taxpayer signature, timing of filing, recordkeeping, prohibited filing with pay stub, proper handling of rejects)
  8. Penalties to be assessed by the IRS against a preparer for negligent or intentional disregard of rules and regulations, and for a willful understatement of liability
  9. Annual Filing Season Program requirements (Pub. 5227)
    • Adherence and consent to duties and restrictions found in subpart B and section 51 of Circular 230 **
  10. Limited representation rights