'Auld Lang Syne': Don't Forget Your PTIN

By Ken Berry
 
Amidst the hubbub of the upcoming holidays, don't forget to renew or apply for your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) before January 1, 2012. 
 
Recently enacted regulations require all paid tax return preparers to obtain a PTIN each year by December 31 for the upcoming year. All preparers – including those who have obtained PTINs in the past – must apply on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Web site or submit a paper Form W-12. The processing time for a printed Form W-12 is four to six weeks. Conversely, it only takes an estimated fifteen minutes to renew your PTIN online.
 
Of course, PTIN renewal isn't free. The IRS requires you to fork over $63, via credit card or debit card, for the privilege.
 
The latest version of Form W-12, which was released by the IRS in November, supersedes the prior version released in October. The new form requires more information, including whether the preparer provides Form 1040 series returns, whether the preparer is supervised by others, and additional details about the preparer's credentials.  
 
Note that the requirement for PTINs applies to CPAs, attorneys, and enrolled agents as well as the rest of the tax return preparation community. However, unlike the others, CPAs, attorneys, and enrolled agents don't have to pass competency tests and satisfy other education requirements to qualify for a PTIN.
 
This new PTIN program was initially instituted by the IRS in 2010. As part of the program, the IRS mailed letters to approximately 100,000 individuals who prepared returns in 2011 but failed to meet the requirements.
 
Don't let the clock strike midnight on December 31 without securing your PTIN!
 
Related articles:
 

You may like these other stories...

Ernst & Young 2013 audit deficiency rate 49%, regulators sayMichael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) found deficiencies in 28 of the...
Some of your clients may get away to business conventions from time to time. It gives them a chance to rub shoulders with colleagues, catch up on the latest developments, and fine-tune their skills. And, when the meetings or...
PwC must face $1 billion lawsuit over MF Global adviceA federal judge on Wednesday ordered PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to face a $1 billion lawsuit claiming that its bad accounting advice was a substantial cause of the...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 10
Transfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.
Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.