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Department of Taxation and Finance

Tax return preparer e-file mandate

If you’re a tax return preparer, you’re subject to the e-file mandate if you:

  • prepared at least one authorized tax document for more than 10 different taxpayers during calendar year 2017, and
  • will use tax software to prepare one or more authorized tax documents in 2018;
    or
  • were previously mandated to e-file (once you're subject to the mandate, it continues to apply to you in all following years, even if you no longer meet the threshold).
    • For example, if you were initially subject to the mandate because you prepared more than five New York State tax documents in 2011, you are still subject to the mandate.

You're responsible for determining whether you're subject to the mandate.

Important notes about the mandate

  • Tax year 2015 can still be electronically filed and falls under the mandate in processing year 2018.
  • Clients cannot opt-out of e-file.
  • You cannot charge a separate fee to e-file a client’s return.
  • If you can't electronically file the return because it's not supported by your approved e-file software or it can't be filed on our website, then you aren't required to e-file it.  
  • If you have reasonable cause not to e-file, you must maintain adequate documentation. You must provide that documentation to us if you or your client receives a penalty bill for failing to e-file.

Definitions

Tax return preparer—You’re a tax return preparer if you:

  • prepare any New York State return or claim for refund for compensation; or
  • receive compensation for returns or claims for refund prepared by people that you employ or engage.

The mandate applies to tax return preparers located within and outside New York State.


Tax software—Any computer software program intended for tax return preparation purposes. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • an off-the-shelf software program loaded onto a tax return preparer’s or taxpayer’s computer;
  • an online tax preparation application; or
  • a tax preparation application hosted by the Tax Department.

Authorized tax document—Includes any document that the Tax Department requires to be e-filed. If the document can’t be e-filed, you don’t have to count it to determine if you meet the more than 10 different taxpayer thresholds.

The following types of tax documents will trigger the mandate when prepared for more than 10 taxpayers:

  • personal income tax
  • partnership
  • fiduciary
  • sales tax
  • prepaid sales tax on motor fuel and diesel motor fuel
  • withholding tax
  • corporation tax
  • beverage container
  • taxicab medallion fee
  • IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement)
  • petroleum business tax (PBT)
  • any other mandated New York State tax documents

Examples of frequently filed forms that you must e-file include:

  • extensions
  • amended returns
  • prior year returns
  • estimated tax payments

See Tax documents that must be e-filed for a summary of mandated tax documents.

Resources

Updated: