If you haven’t already renewed your IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), you need to do so before filing clients’ 2017 income tax returns. All current PTINs expired Dec. 31.
Anyone who is paid to prepare or help prepare any federal tax return, or claim for refund, must have a valid PTIN from the IRS. The PTIN must be used as the identifying number on the returns prepared. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties.
For those who had a 2017 PTIN, the renewal process takes a few moments online. Those who cannot remember their user ID and password can find online tools to assist them. Click www.irs.gov/ptin to get started.
If registering for the first time, the PTIN application may also be completed online. Paper Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number Application and Renewal, is available for paper applications and renewals, and takes four to six weeks to process. There is no fee for obtaining or renewing a PTIN.