PTIN required by all preparers, deadline December 31
Tax preparers who expect to sign their name on tax returns come spring had better put their quills and inkwells aside until they hop online to the IRS's PTIN site and apply for or renew their very own Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). All paid preparers are required to have such a number - your Social won't do. All existing PTINs expire when the clock strikes 12 on the 31st of December, so get busy and get those renewed. Not surprisingly, there is a fee involved, so be prepared to fork over some bucks.
Meanwhile, if you're one of those people who recoil when hearing American Tax Relief advertisements bragging about all the people they help bilk the IRS, you can rejoice because a federal judge has shut them down, at least for now. Turns out ATR was actually costing its customers more than it was saving them. Go figure.
Regards to all,
Gail Perry, CPA
Managing Editor, AccountingWEB
Perry is a CPA and a former senior tax accountant with Big Four firm Deloitte. She maintains a small tax practice, she is a personal finance instructor, and the author of thirty books, including Surviving Financial Downsizing: A Practical Guide to Living Well on Less Income (Adams Media); QuickBooks on Demand (Que); Excel 2007 Macros Made Easy (McGraw Hill); The Complete Idiot's Guide to Doing Your Income Taxes (Alpha/MacMillan); and, most recently, Mint.com for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons). In addition, she is a former columnist for the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis News daily newspapers.
Perry is a nationally recognized speaker who advises public accountants on using Internet tools to improve their accounting practices. She also taught a college-level introductory accounting class and was on staff at the Indiana CPA Society as a computer applications instructor. For five years, she was a contributing editor for Accounting Today magazine before taking over the helm at AccountingWEB.
Perry is a graduate of Indiana University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She returned to school to study accounting at Illinois State University, passed the CPA exam (in one sitting!), and worked for Deloitte in the Chicago tax department.
Gail has been named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor magazine and the American Society of Women Accountants.