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New York State tax return preparer continuing education requirements

All commercial preparers who will prepare New York State personal income tax returns must complete continuing education requirements. Your status as a personal income tax preparer will be reflected on your registration certificate.

Are you a commercial preparer?

You are a commercial tax return preparer if you were:

  • paid to prepare ten or more New York State tax returns during 2016 and expect to be paid to prepare at least one return in 2017,
    or
  • paid to prepare fewer than ten New York State tax returns during 2016 and expect to be paid to prepare ten or more returns in 2017.

If you are not a commercial preparer, but wish to have your registration certificate reflect that you prepare personal income tax returns, you may voluntarily complete these continuing education requirements.

Number of hours of continuing education coursework you are required to take:

If you:then you:
are a commercial preparer who prepared ten or more New York State personal income tax returns during the years 2014, 2015, and 2016

must take four hours of continuing education coursework by the end of December 2017.

are a commercial preparer who prepared fewer than ten New York State personal income tax returns during the years 2014, 2015, and 2016 you must take:
  • 16 hours of continuing education coursework by the end of December 2017, and
  • four hours of continuing education coursework each year after that. 
do not meet the definition of a commercial preparer are not required to take any courses. You may, however, sign up for the 2018 optional learning course which contains each class offered.

Tax Return Preparer Certification course offered by IRS

If you complete the IRS course for tax preparers, it will not count towards your New York State continuing education coursework. The IRS course is valuable because it focuses on the preparation of the federal return which is the basis of the New York State return. However, it is important for individuals who prepare New York State returns to understand the differences between the New York and the federal returns.

Competency exam

If you are a commercial tax return preparer, you must pass a New York State competency exam as part of your continuing education requirements. When an exam becomes available, you have three years to complete and pass it. We do not have any exams scheduled at this time.

How to enroll

You must use the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS) to enroll in classes. All courses will be completed and are free.

You must access SLMS through your Individual Online Services account or you will not be able to enroll in the required training classes.

  1. Log in or create your Individual Online Services account. 
  2. Under the left menu, Select Tax preparer registration program and then select Take required education
  3. On the Registration and Continuing Education Training Tax Return Preparers page, select SLMS

For more information, see How to use SLMS.

 

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