What you need to know about EFIN and PTIN registration


Before the new tax season approaches, it is important for professional tax preparers to obtain the necessary
professional identification numbers to avoid any delays and ensure the tax process goes smoothly for clients.
You may need to register for an EFIN and PTIN. Learn why and how you can register.

For more information or to speak with a tax consultant, please call (888) 202-7880.

What is a Professional Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)?

The PTIN is an identification number that must be used when submitting U.S. federal tax returns or claims for refund to the IRS. To complete far more returns in even less time this year, try Intuit's Lacerte Tax for free or e-file online with Intuit's ProSeries Tax at no extra cost!



What are the PTIN requirements?

Anyone who is paid to assist in preparing federal tax returns must have a new PTIN for the year 2014. Keep in mind that PTINs cannot be shared by a firm. Every paid preparer must have their own PTIN before they can assist in preparing federal tax returns.



When should I register for a PTIN?

PTINs expire and need to be renewed every year. This year, all PTINs expire on Dec. 31, so renew or register for a PTIN right now to get a valid PTIN before Jan. 1.

To get a new PTIN, you can either apply online or fill out paper forms. For those who prefer the paper process, keep in mind that it will take about 4-6 weeks to process, which means it might be too late to meet the Dec. 31, 2013 deadline this year. Save yourself the weeks of uncertainty and register on the IRS website instead. Applying online takes only about 15 minutes.

You will be required to pay an IRS fee of $63.00 for registering for a PTIN.



What is an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN)?

An EFIN is a number issued by the IRS to individuals or firms that have been approved as authorized IRS e-File providers. After providers complete their e-File applications, the IRS sends an acceptance letter with the EFIN included.



What are the EFIN requirements?

Effective in the tax year 2011, federal legislation mandates anyone filing more than 10 returns must electronically file. Before you can electronically file tax returns, you must apply to become an Authorized e-File Provider with the IRS and obtain an EFIN.

Once you have submitted your application to become an Authorized e-File Provider, you will need to send a fingerprint set to the IRS so they can administer a suitability check. This may include a credit check, a criminal background check, a tax compliance check and a check for previous non-compliance with IRS e-File requirements.



When should I register for an EFIN?

To obtain an EFIN, first you have to apply to become an Authorized e-File provider by the IRS. This process may take up to 45 days, so apply right now to meet the January 1st deadline.

To begin the application process, create an IRS service account and then fill out your e-File application online. The application is comprehensive, but you can save the information, take a break and continue to fill out the application when convenient. When your application has been approved, the IRS will send an acceptance letter and your EFIN.