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State has new regulations for tax preparers

Rochester Business Journal
March 4, 2014

New regulations announced this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo require individuals who prepare 10 or more tax returns annually to meet state standards.

Most tax preparers have been required to register each year with the state Department of Taxation and Finance since 2011.

New regulations announced Monday require individual preparers of at least 10 returns to pass a competency examination, meet Internal Revenue Service requirements and take four hours of annual continuing education.

Tax preparers must be at least 18 years old with a high school or general equivalency diploma, and beginning tax preparers must take a 16-hour tax course.

Attorneys, CPAs, public accountants and enrolled agents are exempt from the new regulations but are required to meet specific professional standards set by their licensing agencies, Cuomo’s office said.

The comprehensive rules cover 40,000 paid tax preparers statewide, and will reduce errors and omissions on returns, reduce fraud and increase competency and ethics among preparers, officials said. The new regulations make New York one of four states that regulate the tax preparer industry.

“With 70 percent of New York taxpayers depending on a tax preparer to file their taxes, we need to ensure clear standards exist to prevent fraud and protect consumers,” Cuomo said in a statement.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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