What do I need to know, as a New York tax return preparer?
Posting requirements for tax return preparers and facilitators
New York tax return preparers and facilitators must post the following items at every location where you provide tax preparation or facilitation services to clients January 1st of the filing year.
- a copy of your current Certificate of Registration, issued by the New York Tax Department
- a current price list in at least fourteen-point type that includes, but is not limited to:
- a list of all your tax return preparation and facilitation services
- your minimum charge for each service, including each type of federal or New York State tax return you prepare or provide facilitation services for
- a list of the factors—and their associated fees—that may increase your stated charge
- The Tax Department’s Publication 135.1, Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers
NOTE: The New York Tax Department has two versions of the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers. You must:
- post Publication 135.1 at your place of business, and
- hand each potential client a hard copy of Publication 135 (or, if you prepare returns in New York City, the New York City Consumer Bill of rights).
Failure to comply with these requirements can result in the following civil penalties
- $500 – for any failure – for the first month of noncompliance
- $500 – for any failure – for each subsequent month of noncompliance, up to $10,000 in a calendar year
The following is a summary regarding these regulations. For more information, review links below.
- Publication 135.1 must be posted, prominently and conspicuously, at your place of business
- Publication 135 must be provided to the client PRIOR TO any discussion about tax preparation with the client.
- This document is available:
- The REQUIRED DISCLOSURE STATEMENT must be read and signed by the taxpayer BEFORE entering into a bank product agreement. The software automatically generates the disclosure statement with any return that has a bank product indicated on the BANK screen
- The disclosure statement in the program provides all required information, as listed below:
- Statement that the taxpayer is not required to enter into a RAC agreement
- Clarification that a RAC is a loan (not a refund), and that the taxpayer will be required to repay the loan, along with all related fees and costs
- Amount of federal refund the taxpayer would receive if he or she does NOT take the RAC
- Amount the taxpayer is required to pay if he or she DOES take the RAC, and the approximate remaining amount he or she will receive
- Estimated annual percentage rate of the RAC
- Approximate date the taxpayer can expect to receive the RAC funds
- Approximate dates taxpayer can expect to receive the federal refund if no RAC is taken and if e-filing the return and (a) receiving the refund by mail, or (b) receiving the refund by direct deposit
- A PDF of the disclosure statement is available in links below. This PDF is identical to the one generated by the software, with the exception that all taxpayer-specific information (such as estimated refund amounts) must be entered manually.
NOTE: Tax preparers operating in New York City (NYC) are not subject to the regulations described above. They are, however, subject to similar rules that apply specifically to NYC preparers. For information on these regulations, see the NYC Consumer Bill of Rights.
For more information, and for further technical guidance, see the following links
NY DTF website (example of a tax preparer price list) – https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/example-tp-price-list.pdf
NY DTF website (Publication 135.1) – https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/income/pub135_1.pdf
NY DTF website (Publication 135) – https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/income/pub135.pdf
NYC DOF website (Consumer Bill of Rights) – https://www.nyc.gov/assets/dca/downloads/pdf/consumers/Consumer-Bill-of-Rights-Regarding-Tax-Preparers-English.pdf