Maryland Tax Preparer Licensing
Maryland has joined Oregon and California to become one of just three states regulating the tax preparation industry by requiring tax preparers to register with the State and pass a competency test by the end of 2015.
As of July 1, 2017 tax preparation services are required to employ only individuals registered with the Board of Individual Tax Preparers, actively licensed certified public accountants, IRS enrolled agents or attorneys. Owners of businesses are required to determine the qualifications of prospective employees prior to them assisting, advising or filing tax returns on behalf of Marylanders who need to file federal and state income tax returns.Idividuals who provide or offer to provide tax return services must obtain a registration from the Board. Actively licensed certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys and certain other individuals are exempt from the registration requirement.
Maryland Individual Tax Preparers Act
Maryland SB 817 entitled “Maryland Individual Tax Preparers Act” was signed into law in May, 2008. The following information is provided on the Maryland Division of Occupational Licensing Website:
During the 2008 Session of the Maryland General Assembly, Senate Bill 817 was enacted. This legislation would create a new licensing and regulatory program covering Individual Tax Preparers. SB 817 has been signed by the Governor. Click here for more information on the Maryland DLLR’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing webpage.
- Appointment of an eight person Board of Income Tax Preparers.
- Requires that all persons offering individual tax preparation services must become licensed by June 1, 2010.
- Provides for licensure without examination for someone with fifteen (15) consecutive years of tax preparation experience.
- Provides for licensure by examination. The exam must be Board approved and must be no less stringent than the “individuals” section of the special enrollment examination for enrolled agents.
- A license may be renewed every two years subject to the completion of 16 hours of continuing education.
- Provides that the following individuals are exempted from the licensing requirement:
- An individual in good standing with an active license issued by the State Board of Public Accountancy or a licensing authority in another state.
- An individual in good standing and admitted to practice law in the State or in another state
- An individual employed by a local, state, or federal governmental agency but only in performance of official duties
- An individual enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service who is governed under circular 230
- Except as provided in subsection (c), an individual 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 under this subsection
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 Board expects that the new Maryland Examination will be available later this year. At its regular meeting held May 12, 2014, the Board resolved to extend the deadline for passing the Maryland Examination until December 31, 2015. After that date, passing the examination will be required before making application for registration. Current registered tax preparers will have until December 31, 2015 to take and pass the Maryland exam. Those tax preparers who have taken and passed the RTRP exam given by the IRS do not have to take the Maryland exam.
State Board of Individual Tax Preparers
Shanai R. Jordan, Executive Director
Steven P. Wions, Chair, Baltimore County
Jane M. Bourassa, Vice Chair, Baltimore County
Jacqueline Clarke, Harford County
Victoria Kelly, Esq., Montgomery County
Symon M. Manyara, Howard County
Javier N. Solis, Montgomery County
The State Board of Individual Tax Preparers qualifies and registers persons seeking to function as an individual tax preparer. An individual is required to be registered by the board before providing individual tax preparation services in the State. To qualify, an individual must be of good character and reputation, at least age 18, a high school graduate, and pass an examination. The board is authorized to deny registration, reprimand a registered individual, or suspend or revoke a registration.
Regular business meetings of the State Board of Individual Tax Preparers are typically scheduled on the second Monday of each month. Where there is a schedule conflict with other Board meetings, other meeting dates have been arranged. A complete scheduled of the meeting dates can be found here: DLLR Calendar. Meetings are open to the public and take place at 500 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, at 10:00 am.
Maryland Board of Individual Tax Preparers
500 N. Calvert Street, 3rd Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3651
Appointment of Board of Individual Tax Preparers
As of 2010, the Board of Individual Tax Preparers has been appointed and is now meeting monthly.
The Board will determine what constitutes 15 years of tax preparation experience, as required by the Maryland Individual Tax Preparers Act. The determination of what constitutes 15 years of experience will be the basis for determining who may be eligible for grandfathering under the new law.
Please continue to periodically check DLLR’s website: http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/taxprep/ for updates and guidance.