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New Maryland Competency Exam For Tax Preparers Goes Live Today

The Maryland State Board of Individual Tax Preparers rolls out its new Competency Examination today, October 1, 2014. Persons who are paid to provide tax preparation services in Maryland must be registered with the Board and must, by December 31, 2015, pass the Board’s Competency Examination.

The Board has received numerous complaints from tax payers who have suffered financial losses due to the misdeeds or incompetence of unregistered tax preparers. Although tax preparers are not required to have passed the Examination until the end of next year, the Board strongly encourages tax preparers to take the exam as soon as possible so that they can validate their competency in advance of the upcoming tax season.

“Don’t wait until the last minute,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Leonard Howie. “Tax payers in Maryland need to know that the highest quality services are delivered by registered preparers who have demonstrated competency.”

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) supports the Board’s Examination and has agreed to exempt those tax preparers who pass the Examination by the end of 2014 from the exam portion of the IRS Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course. Thus, proactive tax preparers will enjoy this benefit in addition to proving their competency to Maryland tax payers. Details of this IRS sponsored voluntary program may be found on the IRS website.

The Maryland Examination is being administered by PSI Services LLC. Links to information on how to schedule, where to go to take the exam, how to pay, and what to study are available at the bottom of the REGISTRATION Tab on the Board’s website.

The cost to take the Maryland Examination is $65.

More information about the Maryland requirements for tax preparers can be found on the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation’s website or by calling 410-230-6257.