The Income Tax School (ITS) offers a 60-hour Comprehensive Tax Preparation Course that provides the federal tax education needed to sit for the Maryland Registered Tax Return Preparer Exam required by the Maryland State Board.
Please note: The Comprehensive Tax Course covers federal tax material only. There are Maryland State tax questions on the Maryland Exam that are not covered in the Comprehensive Tax Course because they are specific to Maryland State.
Maryland law requires anyone who prepares tax returns for a fee in the State of Maryland, to register as a tax preparer with Maryland.
4 Steps to become a Licensed Tax Preparer in Maryland:
- You must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid High School Diploma or GED.
- Hold a current Federal Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The PTIN must be renewed each tax year and registrants must submit a copy their most recent IRS PTIN Confirmation Certificate to the Board at the beginning of each tax year.
- Pass the Maryland Registered Tax Return Preparer Examination.
- Register with the Maryland State Board to prepare Maryland individual tax returns. You must have a current, valid federal PTIN for the issuance of a MD state registration. The registration fee for the initial two year registration and subsequent bi-annual renewal is $100. The expiration date will be two years from the date of issuance.
Information about the Maryland Registered Tax Return Preparer Examination:
- The Maryland Examination is being administered by PSI Services LLC.
- Passing the examination is required before making application for registration.
- The cost of the Maryland Examination is $65.
- The passing score in the examination is 70%.
- Those tax preparers who have taken and passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) exam, given by the IRS between November 1, 2011 and January 18, 2013, do not have to take the Maryland exam, but must submit a copy of their RTRP Certificate issued by the IRS or the letter of passing results as proof.
- Tax preparers who have provided 15 consecutive years of tax preparation services during the period of 2003 through 2017 and performed these services for a 15-year average of 50 returns annually, with no less than 25 returns prepared in a given year, may qualify for registration without having to take the Maryland examination. Do not wait until the beginning of the 2018 tax year to apply. The Board may not have enough time prior to January 1, 2018 to review and approve these experience applications in time for the 2018 tax season.
- The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP), is not a substitute for the Maryland Individual Tax Preparers Examination and does not exempt an individual tax preparer from meeting the requirements. Participation in the AFSP may only be used to meet the continuing education requirements for registration renewal.
- Information about how to schedule, pay for, and take the Maryland Exam may be found at the PSI Exams Online website.
Applications for registration as an Individual Tax Preparer in Maryland are available on the Maryland Department of Laboring, Licensing, and Regulation website.
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:
- The tax preparer passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) examination administered by the IRS from November 2010 to January 13, 2014. Download RTRP Examination Confirmation Sheet; or
- 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.
Registration Original Application, Renewal Application, Interim change forms
- File an Original Application
- Renew your registration
- Interim Changes
- Change contact information (PDF)
Exemptions from Registration in Maryland:
- Actively licensed certified public accountants;
- IRS enrolled agents;
- Attorneys in good standing;
- Employees of state, local and federal government employees who perform tax return services in accordance with their official duties.
Bi-annual Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements:
- Once you become a Maryland Registered Tax Preparer, you will need to renew bi-annually and you will have continuing education requirements.
- Learn about continuing education requirements for Maryland Licensed Tax Preparers
- Maryland State Board of Individual Tax Preparers Website
It’s easy to become a Licensed Individual Tax Preparer in Maryland with our Comprehensive Income Tax Course. Get everything you need to start your career – fast!
All you have to do is study the tax material we give you, and understand when certain laws and rules apply. The ITS Comprehensive Tax Course teaches you all the federal tax education you need to know to succeed as a tax professional in Maryland! Please note: The Comprehensive Tax Course covers federal tax material only. There are Maryland State tax questions on the Maryland Exam that are not covered in the Comprehensive Tax Course because they are specific to Maryland State.
Learn tax preparation – with our Comprehensive Tax Course. In this beginner tax preparer course, you will learn to prepare federal tax returns and research tax issues for most Form 1040 individual, non-business taxpayers and small business taxpayers (self-employed/Schedule C). Upon successful completion of the course, we will send you a Certificate of Completion and submit your course completion information directly to the Maryland Board of Individual Tax Preparers.
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