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Department of Taxation and Finance

Continuing education requirements for tax return preparers

The 2020 Tax Preparer Registration Application is now available. If you have not completed the 2020 Registration Education Requirements, you'll need to complete them before you can register for 2020. If you're having trouble using or accessing SLMS, see SLMS troubleshooting guide

Who must complete requirements

If you meet New York State’s definition of a commercial tax return preparer, you have New York State continuing education requirements. These requirements may not be satisfied with either CPE or CLE credits. You can see Who is a tax return preparer or facilitator to determine whether you meet the state’s definition.


What your requirements are

You must complete free online continuing education courses.

Course requirements
If you and you you must complete the curriculum titled:
did not register in a prior year are registering for the first time with New York State, 2021 Registration Education Requirements - 16 Qual.
registered in 2019 completed the 2019 Registration Education Requirements - 16 Qual, 2020 Registration Education Requirements - 4 CPEs.
registered in 2019 completed the 2019 Registration Education Requirements - 4 CPEs, 2020 Registration Education Requirements - 4 CPEs.

Note: The IRS course for tax preparers (Tax Return Preparer Certification) does not count toward your required New York State hours of coursework.


How to complete your requirements

You’ll need to complete your free online continuing education courses using the state’s online Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS).

SLMS is an external website, but you must access it through your Tax Department Individual Online Services account to enroll in and complete your courses. Simply:

  1. Log in to your Individual Online Services account. 
  2. Select the ≡ Services menu from your Account Summary homepage.
  3. Select Tax preparer registration program, then choose Take required education from the expanded menu.
  4. On the Registration and Continuing Education Training Tax Return Preparers page, select SLMS
  5. Enroll in and complete the appropriate courses. (See How to use SLMS to learn how.)

Remember—if you don’t meet the state’s definition of a commercial tax return preparer, you are not required to complete continuing education courses. However, if you would still like to complete the courses, you may sign up for the Optional Learning Course in the SLMS, which contains each class offered to commercial tax return preparers.

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