Hide nor Hair of PTIN
Speaking of delays, have you received your PTIN yet? I couldn’t get the online system to work. Instead, we mailed in the paper application. Hmmm…that seems like months ago. Hey, it was. It was in early October. Over two months ago. I just logged into the PTIN system online to see, if just maybe, they would have electronically updated my application there. Nope. The old, incomplete application is still sitting there.
Some people have managed to make the system work the first time. Others have told me it took them over an hour, experimenting with different inputs into the field! Wow life is too short for that! Someone else told me it generated a whole new PTIN for her. What a pain. Most people who mailed it in are still waiting. Though, I have heard from ONE person who mailed in their PTIN application who did get it processed. That’s ONE person.
We are going to need valid PTINs before we file our first tax return this year. Good thing the tax software won’t be ready to go for a month or so.
Generally, IRS has been doing a pretty good job these last few years. But when it comes to the incredible mess they created with the poorly thought out administration of the Homebuyers Credit and now this whole PTIN thing. I have to wonder who is overseeing administration? I know it's been a challenge, Mr. Shulman, but...it would be much easier to administer the system if some thought is given to projects that will affect large, definable customer bases.
When you know you’re going to have over 1.2 million people jam a system the first year, don’t you insist, as part of the contract with the outside vendor – that they must ramp up their online and phone staff for the first year to accommodate the volume. It certainly does not appear this contractor did anything like that at all.
Please let me know if you've gotten your PTIN. I'd love to hear about your experience.
Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.