It’s renewal time for Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs).
The IRS has issued a reminder to the more than 727,000 federal tax return preparers that their current PTINs will expire Dec. 31.
PTINs are required for anyone who prepares or helps prepare federal tax returns and claims for refunds for compensation. The numbers must be used as the identifying number on prepared returns. Failing to have and use a PTIN may bring penalties, which the IRS doesn’t describe.
Enrolled agents, whether or not they prepare returns, must have a PTIN to maintain their status.
Carol Campbell, director of the IRS Return Preparer Office, suggests in a prepared statement that preparers do this as soon as possible to avoid a last-minute rush.
Renewals and first-time applications can be done online for free at this link, PTIN Requirements for Tax Return Preparers. PTINs will be issued immediately, according to the IRS.
For preparers who’d prefer to do this via paper and wait four to six weeks, use Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number Application and Renewal.
The new mailing address has changed to:
IRS Tax Professional PTIN Processing Center
1605 George Dieter PMB 678
El Paso, TX 79936
More information about Form W-12 can be found here.
Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.