All professional tax preparers need a Preparer Tax Identification Number to file their clients’ tax returns.
What is a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) ?
A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is an ID number that comes directly from the IRS. All enrolled agents and preparers who plan to file tax returns for paying clients are legally required to have a PTIN. If you work in an office setting where there are many preparers, every individual in the office should have their own PTIN.
What purpose does it serve?
In order to lawfully prepare Income Tax Returns for another person, you must pay for and get approved for a PTIN.
How long does it take to get an PTIN?
The PTIN process typically takes about 10 minutes provided all income tax returns have been filed by the appicanat and there are no outstanding federal felonies.
How to apply for an EFIN:
Visit the IRS.gov website, create your PTIN account and apply.
Step 1 – Create your PTIN account
When you are ready to create your account, head to the IRS website, here.
Provide your full legal name, your social security number, your date of birth, a valid phone number, email address, and your home mailing address (this is where your confirmation will be mailed, so be sure this is accurate). You can also add a DBA name and business address to your application.
Note: If you cannot process online, you can complete and mail in a paper Form W-12. The processing time for paper applications is four to six weeks.
Step 2 – Complete the online new PTIN application
You will be asked to provide the following information:
Social Security Number
Personal information (name, mailing address, date of birth).
Business information (name, mailing address, telephone number).
Previous year’s individual tax return (name, address, filing status)
Explanations for any tax obligations or felony convictions (if applicable).
Any certification information (including certification number, jurisdiction of issuance, and expiration date) for all certifications you hold including CPA, attorney, enrolled agent, etc.
Step 3 – Get your PTIN
This completes the application process.
Does a PTIN expire?
Yes. PTINs expire on December 31 each year. All PTINs expire – there are no exceptions. If you applied for and received a
PTIN to file tax returns last tax season, you will need to renew your PTIN. The IRS begins receiving applications
for PTIN renewals around the middle of October. To renew or to update your PTIN account information, visit irs.gov/ptin.