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Department of Taxation and Finance

Continuing education requirements for tax return preparers

The 2021 Tax Preparer Registration Application is now available. You can register using your Individual Online Services account.

If you have not completed the 2021 Registration Education Requirements, you’ll need to complete it before you can register for 2021.

You may have received emails from the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS) to confirm your enrollment in the 2021 4-hour Continuing Registration Education Requirements program. Please do not contact the SLMS Helpdesk as they have no further information to provide regarding the emails you received.

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 2020 completed the 2020 Registration Education Requirements - 16 Qual, 2021 Registration Education Requirements - 4 CPEs.
registered in 2020 completed the 2020 Registration Education Requirements - 4 CPEs, 2021 Registration Education Requirements - 4 CPEs.

Note: IRS continuing education courses for tax preparers do 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. See How to use SLMS to learn how to complete the appropriate courses.

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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