Any paid tax preparer who wants to prepare a 2010 federal income tax return in spring 2011 will need to apply for a Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN.
The simplest and quickest way to do this is through the online PTIN renewal system. But, for those who prefer paper filing, a paper form is already available on the IRS website.
Don’t Want to Complete PTIN Renewal or Registration Online? Get the Paper IRS PTIN Application
Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number Application, can be accessed through the Forms & Publications sections of irs.gov. But to save you time, here’s a direct link to the current version, including instructions:
IRS Form W-12
Form W-12 replaces Form W-7, the former Application for Preparer Tax Identification Number.
Applying for a PTIN to Prepare Federal Taxes? Answer Questions Truthfully
Form W-12 is fairly straightforward. Anyone adept at filling out tax forms should be able to fill this out easily. Perhaps the only odd thing about the form is the specific personal questions asked. For instance, applicants will be asked if they are current on both individual and business federal taxes, including corporate and employment tax obligations. They will also be asked if they have been convicted of a felony in the past 10 years.
These questions make sense, as they speak to the applicant’s personal ethics. The IRS has made it clear that it expects all registered paid tax preparers to adhere to a set of ethical standards and keep current on personal IRS filing obligations.
PTIN Registration Problems? How to Get Help with Form W-12 or Check Status of PTIN Application
Anyone who needs help completing Form W-12 or who simply needs to check the status of a PTIN application may call the following phone numbers:
Toll Free – 877-613-PTIN (7846)TTY/TDD – 877-613-3686International – 319-464-3272These phone lines will be manned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on weekdays.
IRS Mailing Address – Where to Mail Form W-12
Form W-12 should be mailed to the IRS along with a check or money order for $64.25 (the annual fee for PTIN registration). Here is the IRS mailing address for Form W12:
IRS Tax Pro PTIN Processing Center
104 Brookeridge Drive #5000
Waterloo, IA 50702
The check or money order should be made payable to “IRS Tax Pro PTIN Fee.”
Federal Tax Return Preparation Professionals – Who Must Complete IRS PTIN Registration?
Tax preparers who already have PTINS may wonder if they must apply for a new PTIN. The answer is yes. Even if you have a PTIN under the old system, you must reapply under the new system. If the IRS can match up the personal information you submit to the identifying information on file, you will likely receive the same PTIN; however, you must go through the steps under the new system.
New IRS Tax Preparer Requirements – PTIN Registration Required
Online PTIN Renewal & Registration – Learn how to get a PTIN online to shave weeks off of the application processing time. The IRS Tax Professional PTIN Sign-Up System is available every day, and online PTIN applications are processed immediately.
Who Needs a Paid Preparer Tax ID Number?
Tax Professionals section of the IRS website, irs.gov/taxpros
TD 9503 (Final Regulations) – User Fees Relating to Enrollment and Preparer Tax Identification Numbers. Retrieved from irs.gov on September 30, 2010.