What is a Tax Preparer?
The Internal Revenue services defines a "tax return preparer" as "an individual who, for compensation, prepares all or substantially all of a federal tax return or claim for refund.
What are the recent changes to become a Tax Preparer?
The IRS requires all paid tax preparers to sign up with the IRS and obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). All tax preparers will need to renew an existing PTIN annually. Enrolled Agents have separate requirements, Click Here to learn more. Please note, residents of California and Oregon will also need to complete a state registered tax preparation course approved by their respective state.
What are the fees to obtain a PTIN?
As of June 1st, 2017 the IRS has waived the fee for PTIN registration.
What is the difference between an Enrolled Agent and a Tax Return Preparer?
They may only represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare and they cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collection issues even if they did prepare the return in question.What are the requirements in New York to become a Tax Preparer?
Who must register and pay:
In general, you must register if you:
1. are paid to prepare at least one New York State return in calendar year 2017 as a tax return preparer, or
2. help to issue or administer a refund anticipation loan or refund anticipation check.
You must pay a $100 registration fee if you are a commercial tax return preparer:
1. paid to prepare 10 or more New York State tax returns in calendar year 2016, and will be paid to prepare at least one tax return in calendar year 2017; or
2. will be paid to prepare 10 or more tax returns in calendar year 2017.
All commercial preparers who will prepare New York State personal income tax returns must complete continuing education requirements. Your status as a personal income tax preparer will be reflected on your registration certificate. Either 4-hour or 16-hour coursework must be completed through the state of New York. Please click here for more information on who is required to take 4 and 16 hours of continuing education.
After you register
Once you register online, you can print your Certificate of Registration, which includes your New York Tax Preparer Registration Identification Number (NYTPRIN). You can also log in and print the certificate later.
You must include your NYTPRIN and your signature on signed tax returns or reports when required.
Who may be subject to penalties
Tax return preparers (including commercial tax return preparers) and facilitators who fail to:
1. register or renew each year
2. sign a New York State tax return or report or refund anticipation loan or refund anticipation check documentation when required
3. include the New York Tax Preparer Registration Identification Number (NYTPRIN) on any New York State tax return or report when required, or on refund anticipation loan or refund anticipation check documentation that requires the facilitator’s signature
4. ensure that tax return preparers they employ are registered
5. Commercial tax return preparers who fail to pay the annual fee.
Credentialed New York tax preparers are not included in the list of those exempt from taking the 18 hours of continuing education, including the 6 hour AFTR Course. Therefore in order for a tax preparer in New York to participate in the program they must take 18 hours of continuing education between June 1st and December 31st of every year. Once you complete the IRS Continuing Professional Education Tax course you will receive a Certificate of Completion from Platinum. Platinum will then report your completion to the IRS electronically. Platinum will then report your completion to the IRS electronically. Once the tax preparer has met all three requirements for the Internal Revenue Service AFSP (renewed their PTIN, taken appropriate amount of continuing education, completed and passed the AFTR course/test if required), a record of completion will be available in the PTIN holder's online IRS account for printing. Any "unenrolled" preparer not already bound by Circular 230 will need to sign an agreement to follow sub-part b of Circular 230 before being able to print the certificate from the Internal Revenue Service. There will be no cost to the preparer for the AFSP record of completion. The IRS will then list AFSP tax preparers in their public database including the tax preparer's credentials.
What are the requirements in Maryland to become a Tax Preparer?
Maryland law requires that applicants for registration pass an examination, Section 21-302(e) of Title 16, Business Occupations and Professions, Annotated Code of Maryland. The new Maryland Examination became available on October 1, 2014. The deadline for passing the Maryland Examination was December 31, 2015. After that date, passing the examination will be required before making application for registration. The cost of the Maryland Examination is $65. Those tax preparers who have taken and passed the RTRP exam given by the IRS do not have to take the Maryland exam, but must submit a copy of their RTRP Certificate issued by the IRS or the letter of passing results as proof. The Maryland Examination is being administered by PSI Services, LLC. Information about how to schedule, pay for, and take the Maryland Exam may be found at the PSI Exams Online Website. This information is also provided in our course.
The following is a link to the CPE Audit Checklist, which can be used to keep a record and a running total of CPE hours. Upon renewal, the "total hours earned" should equal at least 16. If asked by the Board to submit proof of CPE hours, this Checklist should be certified with your signature and submitted with course documentation.
Continuing Professional Education Audit Checklist
For more information regarding Maryland Tax Preparers who would like to participate in the IRS AFSP program Click here.
To become a Tax Preparer in California you must follow the state guidelines. The state of California requires all paid Tax Preparers to take and pass a California Registered Tax Preparer 60 hour Qualifying Tax Course as well as
Once you do this you will become a California Registered Tax Preparer CTRP. In addition, you will be required to complete 20 hours of continuing professional education annually.
Platinum is approved by the California Tax Educational Council CTEC to offer the CTEC California approved 60 hour Qualifying Tax Course as well as CTEC approved Continuing Professional Education Tax Courses. For more information regarding California Tax Preparers who are interested in participating the IRS AFSP Program Click here.
How do I become a Oregon Licensed Tax Return Preparer?
The State of Oregon requires that individuals that prepare tax returns for compensation obtain a Tax Preparer License. The Tax Preparer License enables a person to lawfully prepare personal income tax returns in the State of Oregon. A tax preparer must work under the supervision of a Licensed Tax Consultant, a Certified Public Accountant, a Public Accountant, or an Attorney who prepares tax returns for their clients.
The state of Oregon requires all paid Tax Preparers to complete an Oregon 80 hour Basic tax course and pass an exam (administered by Oregon Board of Tax Practioners).
In order to become an Oregon Licensed Tax Preparer you must:
Licensees are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours continuing education as a prerequisite to renewing their license each year.
Platinum is approved by the Oregon State Board of Tax Practioners (OBTP) to offer both Oregon Basic 80 hour Basic Tax Course as well as Oregon approved Continuing Professional Education Courses. For more information regarding Oregon Tax Preparers who are interested in participating the IRS AFSP Program Click here.
How do I become a Oregon Licensed Tax Consultant?
Once a Tax Preparer meets certain additional requirements, he or she can then choose to become a licensed Tax Consultant. A licensed Tax Consultant enables a person to lawfully prepare personal income tax returns in the State of Oregon for a fee as a self-employed or independent tax practitioner
To become a Licensed Tax Consultant if presently a Licensed Tax Preparer, the Preparer must submit evidence that he/she has actively worked in the capacity of a licensed tax preparer for a minimum of 1100 hours during at least two of the last five years. The tax preparer must have a Verification of Work Experience form completed by their employer(s) and shall submit it with the Consultant Examination Application and required fees.
Applicants must have completed, within one year prior to submitting application, a minimum of 15 hours of acceptable continuing education (courses are offered by Platinum Professional Services). You must pass the tax consultant examination administered by the Tax Board with a 75% pass rate or higher.How do I become an IRS Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion Holder?
The Internal Revenue services requires an individual to possess a valid PTIN. Please refer to the How to Become an IRS Filing Season Program Qualified Tax Return Preparer page for further details.
How do I keep my registration current?
The IRS will require tax preparer continuing professional education of 15 hours per year to further your tax preparer training for all paid Tax Return Preparers (except Attorneys, CPA's, Enrolled Agents). The IRS will require the 15 hours to include three hours of federal tax law updates, two hours of tax preparers ethics and 10 hours of federal tax law topics. Platinum Tax School is offering 15 hour IRS Continuing Professional Education CPE courses in all 50 states. Once you complete our IRS Continuing Professional Education Tax Course you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Platinum will then report your completion to the IRS electronically.
Platinum's Income Tax School has combined the IRS continuing professional education CPE requirements with CTEC's (California) or OTPB (Oregon) CPE requirements so you can meet all your tax education needs in one income tax class.