New Requirements for New York Tax Professionals
A commercial tax return professional in the state of New York cements his or her status by performing a medley of duties, including preparing more than ten tax returns in New York during 2014 and is expected to prepare at least one return in 2015 as well as is paid to prepared less than ten tax returns in New York during 2014 and is expected to be paid for preparing ten or more returns in 2015.
All commercial preparers are required to comply with the required education standards to maintain the registration certificate for continuous preparation of income tax returns in New York.
A person who is not a commercial preparer but would like to acquire the necessary certification to prepare personal income tax returns must complete these requirements of their own accord as well.
New York Continuing Education
As part of the efforts for facilitating the certification of tax preparers, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has launched a continuing education program. The training program in its first stage deals with the registration process. The program began in 2010 and affects 40,000 professionals annually. Moreover, about 70 percent of the 10 million individual tax returns prepared in the state are executed by professionals.
The program endeavors to ensure that these tax professionals are adequately trained to handle new developments and legal requirements in the industry. This is done in part for consumers’ protection interests with the idea of enhancing the overall standards of the tax preparation industry. This, ultimately, helps to protect citizens from misrepresentations, errors and potential fraud.
Tax professionals shape the livelihoods of their client significantly because accurate tax returns are required for accessing many financial products and services that may include home mortgages and financial estate planning.
Training Hours Required
Tax professionals who have completed 10 or more New York State personal income tax returns a year are considered of the standard and are required to complete continuing education requirements. Four hours of training is required for experienced commercial preparers and 16 hours for new professionals.
CPAs and affiliated professionals are regulated by guidelines and provisions established by the U.S. Treasury Department. Therefore, they are not required to be certified by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance as well are not bound to fulfill the continuing education mandates.
In general, all the other paid tax preparers inclusive of those employed by tax preparation companies are required to register with New York State. The New York Tax Department has posted on its website the registration procedures and subsequent requirements at www.tax.ny.gov
A searchable database has been created by the tax department to confirm that a tax preparer is registered with the department as well as to locate registered preparers with an interactive map. Besides New York, three other states regulate tax preparers, including California, Oregon and Maryland.
Federal Education Programs
The Internal Revenue Service had tried to mandate continuing education and testing of tax preparers on a national basis. But the federal courts ruled against it as it felt the IRS had transgressed its jurisdiction in attempting to impose such measures. The IRS lost a subsequent appeal, and thus has initiated a voluntary testing and continuing education program known as the Annual Filing Season Program.
For New York State prepares, completing the IRS course does not translate into credentials for the the New York statutes. Though the IRS course is important because it focuses on the preparation of the federal return that forms the basis for New York state return, there are distinct differences that local preparers must receive education regarding.
New York Requirements
Commercial tax preparers who have executed 10 or more New York State personal income tax returns from 2011 to 2013, must complete four hours of continuing education coursework by the end of December 2015. Part of this education should be on how to file 1099 online, as well w-2 forms. Traditional paper filings are typically covered in all training, but e-filing is not typically in the curriculum.
For those wanting an easy way introduction to e-filing and how to use the process to streamline tax preparation, check one of the industry leaders at www.eFile4Biz.com. Whether you use them or not to efile 1099 is not the point. They are an industry benchmark in terms of their service delivery, data security, and they fact that they are set up to connect seamlessly with all the major accounting and bookkeeping software brands. They’re not just a trusted brand by businesses, they’re respected by other brands who lead the industry.
For those who have prepared less than 10 New York State personal Income Tax returns from 2011 to 2013, they must complete 16 hours of continuing education coursework by the end of December 2015 as well as four hours of continuing education coursework in subsequent years. All commercial preparers are required to pass a competency examination by December 31, 2017. Further information about the exam will be available in March 2015.
Practitioners should employ the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS) for completing the enroll process to the required classes. The course may be taken by attending a class in-person or online. Moreover, all classes are completely free.