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Department of Taxation and Finance

Continuing education requirements for tax return preparers

The 2019 tax preparer education content is currently unavailable. The Tax Department is making enhancements to include the recent federal and state tax law changes. We will notify you when the content is available.   

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

There are two components to your required continuing education:

  • free online continuing education courses, and
  • a competency exam.

Course requirements

If you prepared 10 or more New York State personal income tax returns or reports during 2014, 2015, and 2016, you must complete four hours of continuing education coursework by the end of December 2017.

If you prepared fewer than 10 New York State personal income tax returns during the years 2014, 2015, and 2016, you must complete:

  • 16 hours of continuing education coursework by the end of December 2017, and
  • four hours of continuing education coursework each year after that. 

Note: If you complete the IRS course for tax preparers (Tax Return Preparer Certification), you cannot credit it toward your required New York State hours of coursework.

Competency exam requirement

When a competency exam becomes available, you have three years to complete and pass it.

How to complete your requirements

Course 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 Tax preparer registration program from the Services menu.
  3. Select Take required education from the drop-down.
  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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Competency exam requirement

The Tax Department doesn’t have any exams scheduled at this time.