IRS Issues Alternate ID Numbers For Tax Practitioners

A new Internal Revenue Service form will allow paid tax preparers to request an alternative identification number for use on the returns and refund claims they prepare after 1999. This change comes in response to concerns that a preparer's social security number (SSN) could be used inappropriately by clients and others having access to a prepared return.

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 authorized the use of alternate SSNs to identify tax return preparers.

Preparers may download Form W-7P, "Application for Preparer Tax Identification Number," (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader - download it here for free) or may call the IRS's toll-free tax forms line at 800/829-3676.

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