Verify your tax preparer
The majority of tax preparers are honest and comply with the tax law, but to ensure you don't become the victim of a tax preparer scam, research your tax preparer before you hire them. See Tips for hiring a tax preparer to learn how to wisely choose your preparer and protect your tax information.
Who must register as a tax preparer
As a general rule, if you are paying someone to prepare your New York State tax return, that person must be registered with New York State. There are some exceptions to this rule. Some licensed individuals are not required to register with New York State. These exempted persons include:
- licensed certified public accountants (CPA) or public accountants (PA) who are licensed in any of the fifty states
- enrolled agents licensed by the Internal Revenue Service
- attorneys licensed in any of the fifty states
- employees of a CPA, PA, enrolled agent, or law firm who prepare tax returns under the direct supervision of a CPA, PA, enrolled agent, or attorney of that firm
- employees of a business who prepare that business's return or report
- clerical employees
- volunteer tax preparers
However, if someone provides you a tax refund anticipation loan or check, or helps you apply for a loan or check, they must be registered with New York State.
Registered tax preparer database
The Tax Department maintains a searchable database of persons who have registered with us as tax preparers or refund anticipation loan or check facilitators. You can search the database to see if your preparer has registered.
New York State Registered Tax Return Preparers and Facilitators (searchable database)
Map of Registered New York State Tax Return Preparers and Facilitators (interactive map)
When searching the database, keep in mind:
- Persons who are exempt from the registration requirement (such as accountants and attorneys) will not appear in the database. This does not mean they are not qualified to prepare your return; it only means they are not required to register.
- Our database only keeps track of who has registered as a tax preparer. New York State does not vouch for the competency of a tax return preparer or refund anticipation loan or check facilitator merely because they have registered.
Searching other databases
Some persons who are exempt from the tax preparer registration requirement must register with another New York State agency as part of their professional licensing requirements. These include:
- New York State attorneys - New York State Unified Court System
- New York State certified public accountants and public accountants - New York State Education Department
- Internal Revenue Service enrolled agents - Internal Revenue Service
You can visit these New York State Web sites to check the registration status of persons engaged in these professions. For attorneys, certified public accountants and public accountants licensed in other states; you will need to search that particular state's records.
If you have any questions or difficulty in searching the database, you may call 518-530-HELP.
Know your rights
If you use the services of a paid tax preparer, you are entitled to protection from unfair treatment. While most tax preparers act within the law and treat their clients fairly, there are some that don't.
If your tax preparer doesn't comply, you can file a complaint online. We will review your complaint promptly and, where appropriate, take corrective action, which may include sanctions.