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Who the tax preparer e-file mandate applies to

You or your firm prepared tax documents for more than 10 taxpayers

  • You or your firm prepared at least one authorized tax document for more than 10 different taxpayers during calendar year 2015 and will use tax software to prepare one or more authorized tax document in 2016.
  • An authorized 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 10 taxpayer threshold.

You were previously subject to the mandate

Once mandated to electronically file, you are always required to electronically file all prepared New York State tax documents.

You may have been initially subject to the mandate because:

  • you prepared more than 5 New York State tax documents in 2011, or
  • you have filed more than 10 New York State tax documents per year since 2012.

Which types of tax documents prepared for more than 10 different taxpayers will trigger the mandate?

  • 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
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Extensions, amended returns, prior year returns, estimated tax payments and any other mandated New York tax documents   

Don’t forget

  • Tax year 2013 can still be electronically filed and falls under the mandate in processing year 2016.
  • Clients can't opt-out of e-file.
  • You can't charge a separate fee for e-file.
  • If you have reasonable cause to not 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.
  • You're responsible for determining whether or not you're subject to the mandate.
  • 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.
  • 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.  

 See the summary of mandated tax documents and payment methods for more information.

Definitions

Tax 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 is 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 threshold.

More Information

What tax documents must be electronically filed
E-file mandate penalties
E-file/payment methods
More tax preparer e-file mandate information

Updated: January 15, 2016