PTIN procedures detailed

January 1, 2012

Update: Since this item was published, the IRS started accepting renewals after the Dec. 31 deadline. See “IRS PTIN system continues to accept 2011 renewals,” Jan. 10, 2012.

Return preparers who needed to renew their preparer tax identification number (PTIN) for the 2012 tax preparation season should have done so before Dec. 31, 2011; if they did not renew by that date, they must register as a new applicant.

Those were among details of PTIN registration in an IRS news release Oct. 20 (IR-2011-105) as the IRS opened registration for the upcoming tax season. (For more on changes for the 2012 tax preparation season in federal tax law as well as practice and procedures, see “Tax Relief and Health Care Acts Shape 2011 Returns” on page 24.)

A new applicant must go through a “strict authentication procedure,” according to the notice.

Also, the IRS said in the notice, preparers renewing for the 2012 season who were required to have registered and obtained or renewed a PTIN for 2011 but did not do so must obtain a 2011 PTIN and then renew it for 2012, paying fees for both years ($64.25 initial fee and $63 for renewal). The IRS warned that penalties could apply in such instances.

CPAs will be required to provide the expiration date of their license when they renew (or apply for) a PTIN this year.

Other changes this year include:

  • Return preparers who are nonsigning supervised preparers or non-1040 preparers (that is, who do not prepare Forms 1040 for compensation) must identify themselves as such.
  • Nonsigning supervised preparers must provide a supervisor’s PTIN when applying for or renewing their PTINs.
  • Credentialed preparers (CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents) must provide the expiration date for their licenses when they apply for or renew their PTINs.


Nonsigning supervised preparers and non-1040 preparers must identify themselves when they apply for or renew their PTINs to be exempted from registered tax return preparer testing and continuing education requirements; CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents are also exempt from the testing and continuing education requirements.

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