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IRS Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) Course

Based on 2015 Tax Law
In preparation for the 2016 Annual Filing Season


An * on the topic list indicates that it includes content pertaining to one
of the "Domain" topics IRS specified to be included in the AFTR course.

Lesson ONE. Taxpayer Identification and Data Gathering
  1. Expansion of the Tax Code
  2. How Tax Bills Become Law
  3. Tax Year 1913 Form 1040
  4. Data Gathering
  5. Records Retention
  6. Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs)
  7. Residency Under U.S. Tax Law
  8. When TINs Must Be Furnished
  9. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  10. Who Needs an ITIN
  11. How to Apply for SSNs and ITINs
  12. Proof of Identity and Foreign Status for ITIN
  13. Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN)
  14. Information Returns
  15. Missing or Incorrect Information Returns *
  16. Request for Taxpayer ID Number (Form W-9)
  17. Payee TIN Penalties
  18. Back-up Withholding *
  19. Identity Theft Protection *
  20. Voluntary Withholding from 1099 Income
  21. Review of Prior Year Returns *
  22. Adjusting Tax Withholding *
  23. Broker Reporting of Basis *
  24. Type of Payments Reported on Information Returns
  25. Information Return Due Dates and Amounts Reported
  26. Form W-2 and Reference Guide for Box 12 Codes
  27. Form W-4
  28. Form W-4P
  29. Form W-4V
  30. Form 1099-MISC Miscellaneous Income
Lesson TWO. Filing Status and Requirements
  1. Who Must File a Return *
  2. Must File vs. Should File *
  3. Income Filing Requirements *
  4. Self-employed Filing Requirements *
  5. Personal and Dependency Exemptions *
  6. Personal Exemption Phaseout *
  7. Exemption for a Spouse *
  8. Dependency Exemptions *
  9. Standard Deduction *
  10. Higher Standard Deductions *
  11. When a Dependent Must File a Return *
  12. U.S. Citizen and Resident Filing Due Dates *
  13. Automatic Extension Form 4868 *
  14. Additional Extension Form 2350
  15. Individuals Outside U.S. Filing Due Dates
  16. Return Due Date While in Combat Zone
  17. Nonresident Aliens
  18. Required to File Form 1040NR
  19. Substantial Presence Test
  20. Nonresident Alien Filing Due Dates
  21. Late Filing and Late Paying Penalties
  22. Time for Filing a Claim for Refund *
  23. Refund Direct Deposits *
  24. Refund Offsets *
  25. Refund Rules *
  26. Filing Status *
  27. Marital Status for Federal Tax Purposes *
  28. Annulled Marriage Amended Returns
  29. Married Persons Including Common Law *
  30. Same Gender Couples Filing Status Options *
  31. Married Filing Jointly *
  32. Spousal Relief
  33. Injured Spouse Offset Against Debts
  34. Married Filing Separately Special Rules *
  35. Changing Filing Status
  36. Head of Household (HOH) *
  37. Considered Unmarried for Head of Household
  38. Nonresident Alien Spouse
  39. Head of Household Qualifying Person
  40. Keeping Up a Home
  41. Qualifying Widow(er) *
  42. Qualifying Dependents *
  43. Qualifying Child Tests *
  44. Qualifying Relative Tests *
  45. Clarify Qualifying Child *
  46. Tie-Breaker Rule *
  47. Qualifying Relative Gross Income Test *
  48. Qualifying Relative Support Test *
  49. Armed Forces Dependency Allotments
  50. Multiple Support Declaration *
  51. Children of Divorced or Separated Parents *
  52. Child as Qualifying Relative Rules *
  53. Revoking a Release of Claim to Exemption for Child
  54. Form 8332 Documentation Requirements
  55. Estimated Tax Payment Requirements *
  56. Estimated Tax Not Required *
  57. Exception for Farmers and Fishermen *
  58. Estimated Tax Payment Due Dates *
  59. Changes in Estimated Tax *
  60. Estimated Taxes Married Filing Separately
  61. Underpayment of Estimated Tax Penalty *
  62. Ways to Pay Estimated Taxes *
  63. Form 2210 to Calculate Penalty
  64. Waiver of 2210 Penalty
  65. Foreign Account and Asset Reporting *
  66. Comparison of Form 8938 and FBAR Requirements *
  67. Form 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
  68. Form 1040NR U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
  69. Form 8332 Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent
  70. Form 8615 Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income
  71. Form 8814 Parents' Election to Report Child's Interest and Dividends
Lesson THREE. Taxable and Nontaxable Income
  1. Tax Year
  2. Change in Tax Year
  3. Cash vs. Accrual Basis Accounting *
  4. Nominee Income *
  5. Constructive Receipt Doctrine *
  6. Cash Equivalent Doctrine *
  7. Claim of Right Doctrine
  8. Assignment of Income *
  9. Gross Income *
  10. Employee Compensation *
  11. Tip Income *
  12. Military Pay
  13. Military Combat Pay EIC Election
  14. Military Payments Included in Gross Income
  15. Military Payments Excluded from Gross Income
  16. Combat Zone Extension of Deadlines
  17. Veterans Benefits
  18. Civilian Officers and Volunteers
  19. Disability Benefits Employer Paid *
  20. Unemployment Compensation *
  21. Supplemental Unemployment Benefits
  22. Repayments
  23. Clergy Special Tax Rules
  24. Schedule B Filing Requirements *
  25. Interest Income *
  26. Reverse Mortgage Loan Advances *
  27. Tax-exempt Interest *
  28. U.S. Savings Bonds
  29. Education Savings Bond Program
  30. Scholarship or Fellowship Awards
  31. Dividends *
  32. Types of Dividends *
  33. Reporting Nominee Dividends
  34. State and Local Refunds *
  35. Capital Gain Distributions *
  36. Nontaxable Distributions
  37. Gain or Loss *
  38. Basis of Stocks *
  39. Calculating Gain or Loss *
  40. Taxable (Recognized) Gain *
  41. Holding Period *
  42. Other Effects of Capital Gains *
  43. Gifts and Inheritances *
  44. Where to Report Asset Dispositions *
  45. How to Complete Form 8949 *
  46. Schedule D Capital Gains and Losses *
  47. Net Gain or Loss *
  48. Gambling Winnings *
  49. Alimony
  50. Child Support Not Alimony *
  51. Types of Alimony Payments *
  52. Alimony Recapture
  53. Rental Income *
  54. Personal Use of Vacation Home (Dwelling Unit)
  55. Limits on Rental Losses
  56. Partnership Self-employment *
  57. Notice of Inconsistent Pass-Through Treatment (Form 8082)
  58. Social Security Benefits *
  59. Calculating Taxable Social Security *
  60. Repayment of Social Security Benefits
  61. Debt Cancellation Income *
  62. Lawsuit Settlements
  63. Hobby Loss Rules
  64. Other Income *
Lesson FOUR. Adjustments to Income
  1. Adjusted Gross Income *
  2. Alimony Paid *
  3. Alimony Recapture
  4. Moving Expenses *
  5. Deductible Moving Expenses *
  6. Nondeductible Moving Expenses *
  7. Employer Reimbursed Moving Expenses *
  8. Accountable and Nonaccountable Moving Expense Plans *
  9. Performing Artists Business Expenses
  10. Fee Based Officials Business Expenses
  11. Armed Forces Reservist Travel Expenses
  12. Self-employed Health Insurance *
  13. Early Savings Withdrawal Penalty *
  14. Student Loan Interest *
  15. Student Loan Interest MAGI Phaseout *
  16. Cancellation of Student Loan
  17. Tuition and Fees Deduction *
  18. Not Eligible for Tuition and Fees Deduction *
  19. Employer Educational Assistance Benefits
  20. Educator Classroom Expense Deduction *
  21. Jury Duty Pay *
  22. Employee Fringe Benefits *
  23. Nondiscrimination Rules
  24. Adoption Benefits *
  25. Limits on Adoption Credit or Exclusion *
  26. Athletic Facility Benefits
  27. Qualified Transportation Benefits *
  28. Working Condition Fringe Benefits
  29. De Minimis Fringe Benefits
  30. Meals as De Minimis Fringe Benefit
  31. Archer Medical Savings Accounts *
  32. MSA Contributions *
  33. MSA vs. HSA
  34. Medicare Advantage MSA
  35. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) *
  36. Qualified HSA Funding Distribution *
  37. HSA Contribution Limits *
  38. Remaining HSA Balance at Death
  39. Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs) *
  40. Long-term Care Coverage Benefit
  41. Retirement Planning Services
  42. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) *
  43. ESA Contribution Limits *
  44. Qualified ESA Education Expenses *
  45. ESA Coordination with Education Credits *
  46. Coverdell ESA Rollovers
  47. Qualified Tuition Programs (QTPs) *
  48. QTP Contributions
  49. Qualified Education Expenses Same for ESAs and QTPs
  50. ESA Qualified Expenses Broader Scope *
  51. ESA Distributions More than Expenses *
  52. ESA Taxable Distribution 10% Penalty *
  53. Distributions from QTPs and ESAs *
  54. ESA Excess Contributions Penalty
  55. QTP Coordination with Education Credits *
  56. QTP Rollovers and Transfers *
Lesson FIVE. Itemized Deductions
  1. Itemized Deductions Overview *
  2. AGI Determines Limit on Deductions *
  3. Community Property State Deductions
  4. Non-community Property State Deductions
  5. Medical Expenses *
  6. Deductible as Medical Expense *
  7. Not Deductible as Medical Expense *
  8. Includible Medical Expenses *
  9. Medical Premiums Paid
  10. Long-term Care Insurance Deductible Premiums
  11. Medicare Insurance Premiums
  12. Higher Medicare Part B Premiums Based on MAGI
  13. Medical Expense Reimbursements
  14. Capital Medical Expenses *
  15. Taxes *
  16. Foreign Income Tax
  17. Sales Tax or Income Tax *
  18. Real Estate Tax *
  19. Personal Property Tax
  20. Which Taxes Are Deductible *
  21. Tracing Rules for Interest Deductions
  22. Where to Deduct Interest Expense
  23. Home Mortgage Interest *
  24. Limit on Mortgage Interest Deduction
  25. Mortgage Interest Special Situations
  26. Home Mortgage Points *
  27. Redeemable Ground Rent as Interest
  28. Mortgage Interest (Insurance) Deduction
  29. Reverse Mortgages
  30. Home Equity Loan Used for Business Purposes
  31. Charitable Contributions *
  32. Deductible Charitable Contributions *
  33. Not Deductible Charitable Contributions *
  34. Limited Charitable Contributions
  35. Donations to Foreign Organizations
  36. Charitable Standard Mileage Rate *
  37. Limits on Total Charitable Deductions *
  38. Organization and Property Type Limits
  39. Cash Contributions *
  40. When to Deduct Cash Contributions *
  41. Qualified IRA Charitable Distributions
  42. Noncash Contribution Limitations
  43. Qualified Appraiser
  44. Contributions of Property
  45. Autos, Boats, Aircraft and Other Vehicles
  46. Required Cash Contribution Records *
  47. Acknowledgment Requirement if $250 or More
  48. Required Noncash Contribution Records
  49. Casualty and Theft Losses *
  50. Declared Disaster Area Deduction Year Option
  51. Deposit in Insolvent or Bankrupt Financial Institution
  52. Figuring the Amount of Loss *
  53. When to Deduct a Loss *
  54. Reimbursement for Casualty Loss
  55. Loss Property Used Partly for Business
  56. Net Operating Loss
  57. Deductions Subject to 2% Limit *
  58. Investment Interest Income and Expense
  59. Standard Mileage Rates for Years 2011 through 2015 *
  60. Deductions Not Subject to 2% Limit *
  61. Nondeductible Schedule A Expenses *
  62. Nonresident Alien Issues
  63. Schedule A (Form 1040) Itemized Deductions
Lesson SIX. Schedule C and Employee Business Expenses
  1. Self-employed Person *
  2. Sole Proprietorship
  3. Husband and Wife Qualified Joint Venture
  4. Self-employed Information Returns
  5. Schedule C *
  6. Schedule C-EZ *
  7. Net Earnings from Self-Employment *
  8. Figuring Cost of Goods Sold *
  9. Self-employment Health Insurance *
  10. Include SE Taxes in Estimated Tax Payments
  11. Self-employment Tax *
  12. Other Earnings Subject to SE
  13. Earnings NOT Subject to SE
  14. Employee Business Expenses *
  15. Travel Expenses
  16. Tax Home *
  17. Temporary Assignment
  18. Deductible Travel Expenses *
  19. Business Related Meals
  20. Cannot Use Standard Meal Allowance
  21. Travel Inside United States *
  22. Travel Outside United States
  23. Conventions *
  24. Cruise Ships
  25. Entertainment Expenses
  26. 50% Limit *
  27. Transportation Workers
  28. Per Diem Rates
  29. Incidental Expenses
  30. Business Gift Expense *
  31. Local Transportation Expense
  32. Business Use of Vehicle *
  33. Standard Mileage Rate Not Allowed
  34. Job Search Expenses
  35. Accountable and Nonaccountable Plans *
  36. Per Diem and Vehicle Allowances
  37. Nonaccountable Plan Reimbursements
  38. Back-up for Travel, Meals, and Entertainment *
  39. Work Related Education
  40. Required Education by Employer or Law
  41. Education Expenses
  42. Section 179 Limits *
  43. Business Use of Home *
Lesson SEVEN. Retirement Plans
  1. Basic Types of Retirement Plans
  2. Qualified Plans and Non-qualified Plans *
  3. Traditional IRA *
  4. Same Gender Spousal Retirement Benefits *
  5. Establishing an IRA *
  6. General IRA Contribution Limits
  7. IRA Contribution Due Date
  8. IRA Age 70 1/2 Rules
  9. IRA Deductible Contributions *
  10. Spousal IRA
  11. Taxpayer Covered by an Employer Plan
  12. IRA Deduction MAGI Phaseout *
  13. Partially Deductible IRA Contributions
  14. Nondeductible IRA Contributions
  15. IRA Transfers and Rollovers *
  16. IRA Rollover One Year Rule *
  17. Distribution Codes on Form 1099-R *
  18. IRA Distribution Withholding Requirements
  19. Required Minimum Distributions *
  20. RMD Penalty *
  21. IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions
  22. IRA Distributions Fully or Partially Taxable
  23. IRA Prohibited Transactions
  24. Acts Resulting in IRA Penalties *
  25. Loans Not Allowed Against IRAs
  26. IRA Early Distributions *
  27. IRA Exceptions to Age 59 1/2 Rule *
  28. Roth IRA
  29. Roth IRA Contribution Limits
  30. IRA Conversion to Roth IRA
  31. Qualified Roth IRA Distributions
  32. When Form 8606 is Required
  33. 401(k) Plans
  34. 401(k) Maximum Contribution Limits
  35. 401(k) Hardship Distributions
  36. 401(k) Early Distributions
  37. 401(k) Plan Loans
  38. 403(b) Plans
  39. Retirement Account Records
  40. Retirement Plan Comparison Tables *
  41. Form 1099-R Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, and other Deferred Income Plans
Lesson EIGHT. Taxation and Credits
  1. Role of Taxation
  2. Capital Gain Rates *
  3. Calculating Tax Liability *
  4. ACA Medicare NII Tax *
  5. ACA Medicare Wages Tax *
  6. ACA Premium Tax Credit *
  7. ACA Shared Responsibility (Tax) Payment *
  8. Alternative Minimum Tax
  9. Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax
  10. Employee FICA Taxes
  11. Tax on Tip Income *
  12. Household Employment Taxes
  13. Refund of FICA Taxes Withheld in Error
  14. International Social Security Agreements
  15. Nonresident and Resident Aliens Self-employment Tax
  16. Refund of Over-withheld Social Security Taxes
  17. Self-employment Tax *
  18. Self-employment Tax Rates *
  19. Self-employment Tax Exemptions
  20. Individual Taxpayer Penalties *
  21. Failure to Pay Estimated Taxes *
  22. Tax Credits *
  23. Penalty for Erroneous Claim for Credit or Refund *
  24. Adoption Credit *
  25. Child and Dependent Care Credit *
  26. Dependent Care Employee Benefits
  27. Figuring the Dependent Care Credit
  28. Child Tax Credit *
  29. Credit for Elderly or Disabled
  30. Figuring the Credit for Elderly or Disabled
  31. Earned Income Credit *
  32. EIC Paid Preparer Due Diligence *
  33. EIC General Eligibility Rules *
  34. EIC Married and Head of Household Status *
  35. EIC Qualifying Child *
  36. EIC Qualifying Child for More than One Person *
  37. EIC Qualifying Earned Income *
  38. EIC Minister's Housing Included *
  39. EIC Not Earned Income *
  40. EIC Community Property Exclusion if Head of Household
  41. EIC Military Combat Pay Election *
  42. EIC Disallowance *
  43. Education Credits *
  44. General Education Credit Requirements *
  45. Education Credits Limited by MAGI *
  46. Claiming Dependent's Education Expenses *
  47. Expanded Tuition and Related Expenses *
  48. Nonqualifying Education Credit Expenses *
  49. American Opportunity Credit Limits *
  50. No Double Education Benefits Allowed *
  51. AOC Student Eligibility *
  52. Comparison of Education Credits *
  53. Calculating American Opportunity Credit *
  54. Lifetime Learning Credit *
  55. Related Expenses Restricted for Lifetime Learning Credit *
  56. Calculating Lifetime Learning Credit *
  57. Foreign Tax Credit
  58. Foreign Taxes Not Eligible for FTC
  59. Retirement Savings Tax Credit *
  60. Saver's Credit Rate Chart *
  61. Mortgage Interest Credit (Form 8396)
  62. Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit
  63. Energy Credits for Residences
  64. Energy Credits for MFJ Owning More than One Home
  65. Other Energy Credit Provisions
  66. First-time Homebuyer Credit and Recapture
  67. Other Taxes and Credit Recaptures
Lesson NINE. Ethics, Practices, and Procedures
  1. Annual Filing Season Program
  2. Annual Requirements for Non-exempt Individuals
  3. Reduced Requirements for Exempt Individuals
  4. Modification to Limited Practice Permissions
  5. Consent to Circular 230 Duties and Restrictions *
  6. Office of Professional Responsibility
  7. PTIN Information and the Freedom of Information Act
  8. Qualifying Continuing Education Programs
  9. CE Record Keeping Requirements
  10. Rules of Practice
  11. IRS Requests for Records or Information
  12. Other Duties
  13. General Due Diligence *
  14. Preparer EIC Due Diligence *
  15. Return Signature Requirements *
  16. Advertising and Solicitation Restrictions
  17. Privacy of Taxpayer Information
  18. Return Documentation Standards
  19. Advising Clients on Potential Penalties *
  20. Incompetence and Disreputable Conduct *
  21. Preparer Penalties *
  22. Understatement of Taxpayer Liability *
  23. Avoiding Section 6694 Penalties *
  24. Response to Preparer Penalty Notification
  25. Taxpayer Bill of Rights *
Lesson TEN. Electronic Filing
  1. Return Preparers Now Required to e-File *
  2. Taxpayers May Choose Not to e-File *
  3. Exceptions to Electronic Filing Mandate *
  4. Preparer May Request a Hardship Waiver *
  5. Individual Returns Not Subject to e-File Mandate *
  6. Individual e-Filing Due Dates
  7. Timely e-Filing *
  8. Rejected Returns *
  9. Authorized e-File Provider
  10. Authorized e-File Provider
  11. e-File Provider Application Process
  12. e-File Provider Eligibility
  13. Denial to Participate in IRS e file
  14. Selected Operating Guidelines as e-File Provider
  15. e-File Publications *
  16. Monitoring of Authorized e-file Providers
  17. Electronic Return Originator
  18. ERO Responsibilities *
  19. Refund Options Using Direct Deposit *
  20. ERO Record Keeping Requirements *
  21. Signatures Required for Tax Return Changes
  22. Electronic Signatures
  23. Redesigned Form 8453 for Individual Returns
  24. Declaration Document and e-File Authorization Form 8879
  25. Alternative Signature Methods for ERO
  26. e-File Authorization for Extension Using Form 8878
  27. e-Filing Advertising Standards *
  28. Disclosure of Tax Return Information
  29. Web Site Registration with IRS
  30. Protecting Taxpayers from Identity Theft *
  31. Identity Verification Service *



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