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Category: General FAQ

Applying For A PTIN

Starting Jan. 1, 2011, the use of a Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN, became mandatory on all federal tax returns and claims for a refund prepared by a paid tax preparer.  The PTIN is a nine-digit number that preparers must use when they prepare all or substantially all of any federal tax return or claim for refund.

Paid preparers must now apply for a new PTIN or renew their existing PTIN through the new online sign-up system on  Any preparer who obtained a PTIN prior to the new sign-up system launch on Sept. 28, 2010, must apply again.  Generally, preparers with existing PTINs will be permitted to retain their existing numbers if the information they provide during the sign-up process matches what the IRS currently has on file.

The IRS has also released Form W-12 that can be used if you choose to apply for a PTIN by mail.  Form W-12 replaces Form W-7P.  You should allow four to six weeks to receive your PTIN by mail.

To view Frequently Asked Questions concerning the use of a PTIN, select the links below.