Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

 

Registration Services and Information - Maryland Board of Individual Tax Preparers

 

Registration of Individual Tax Preparers

Individuals who prepare individual state and federal tax returns for Maryland clients must be registered with the Board. To qualify for registration a person must:

  1. be at least 18 years of age and hold at least a high school diploma or GED;
  2. pass the Maryland Individual Tax Preparers Examination;
  3. hold a current Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Certificate issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for each tax year.

Exemptions from Registration

The following are exempt by law from the requirement to hold a state individual tax preparers registration:

  1. current, active CPAs, licensed by Maryland or any other State;
  2. individuals in good standing and admitted to practice law in Maryland or in another state;
  3.  individuals enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service who is governed under circular 230 (exemption applies only to Enrolled Agents of the IRS);
  4.  individuals employed by a local, state, or federal governmental agency but only in performance of official duties; and
  5.  individuals serving as an employee of or assistant to an individual tax preparer or an individual exempted under this subsection in the performance of official duties for the individual tax preparer or the individual exempted in 1 to 4 above.

Registered Tax Preparers Must Pass the MD Tax Preparers Exam

As of January 1, 2016, tax preparers who prepare taxes for Marylanders must pass the Maryland Tax Preparers Examination in order to continue to provide those services. This requirement even applies to those individuals who are currently registered or renew their registrations prior to the January 1, 2016 deadline.

Currently registered tax preparers can schedule to take the examination at any PSI test center, where information about scheduling, payment and taking the Maryland Tax Preparers Examination is detailed. Test takers have the ability schedule to take the exam up to one day before the desired date of examination. PSI will transmit examination scores to the Board to update individual registrants’ records.

Individuals filing for registration for the first time should first file the Maryland application for registration and apply under the examination. Applicants should then contact PSI to schedule the examination.

The Maryland Tax Preparers Examination is 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. The testing fee is $65.00.

Examination Resources

Maryland Candidate Information Bulletin
Please note: The Examination was updated to include 2014 Tax Year Reference Materials on July 1, 2015.

Waiver of the MD Examination Requirement

Current registered tax preparers and first-time applicants for registration may qualify for waiver from the examination under two limited conditions:

  1. The tax preparer passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) examination administered by the IRS from November 2010 to January 13, 2014. Download  RTPR Examination Confirmation Sheet; or
  2. The tax preparer provided 15 consecutive years of tax preparation services, and performed these services for the a15 year average of 50 returns annually, with no less than 25 returns prepared in a given year, download the 15 year experience waiver application. PLEASE NOTE: the Board may not have enough time to review and approve complete waiver applications prior to the end of this tax filing season (April 18, 2016). It takes the Board an average of 30 days to review applications for this waiver.

ATTENTION

If you are not currently registered; OR have not already been granted an examination waiver from the Board; OR you are currently registered but have not taken the Maryland Tax Preparers Examination you are not in compliance with the law and are not authorized to prepare tax returns for Maryland clients in 2016.

Please note: The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP), sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, does not exempt an individual tax preparer from the examination requirement.

Registration Fees; Renewal of Registration Required Every Two Years

The biennial registration fee is $100.00. The registration term is two years from the date the registration is first issued. Sixteen (16) hours of qualifying continuing education is required to renew the registration.

Federal PTIN Certificate for current tax year required

Registered tax preparers are required to hold a valid and current Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. See the IRS-PTIN website for further information. The PTIN must be renewed each tax year. Registrants must update the expiration date of the PTIN each year and submit a copy their most recent IRS PTIN Confirmation Certificate to the Board at the beginning of each tax year.

Annual Filing Season Program only qualifies for continuing education credit

The Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP), sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, is not a substitute for meeting the requirement for passing the Maryland Individual Tax Preparers Examination. Similarly, the ASFP should not be confused with the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) examination that was administered by the IRS, which discontinued on January 13, 2013. The ASFP is a separate program administered by the IRS.

Participation in the AFSP may only be used to meet the continuing education requirements for registration renewal.

Registration Original Application, Renewal Application, Interim change forms

If you need to change your address, telephone number or email address, you can do so with this form. Please update your information if anything changes so that we may be able to stay in contact with you.

If you need to change your name, please complete the Name Change Form (Word) and send the signed form and the required identification forms to indtaxprep@dllr.state.md.us.