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How to renew your PTIN

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Update content 10.24.23: The IRS reminded the nearly 800,000 active tax return preparers that they can take the first step in their filing season readiness by renewing their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) now. Visit IRS.gov/taxpros for more information. Anyone who prepares or helps prepare a federal tax return or a claim for refund for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS. They also need to include the PTIN as their identifying number on any return or claim for refund filed with the IRS. PTINs expire on Dec. 31 of the calendar year for which they are issued. All 2023 PTINs will expire on Dec. 31, 2023.

Updated content 10.5.23: The IRS is reducing the annual cost of a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) after a court ruled that the charge was too high. The application and renewal fee will be reduced to $11, plus an extra $8.75 for payment to a third-party contractor. This is lower than the 2023 fee of $30.75 for renewing or obtaining a PTIN. The move comes after a Federal district court ruled earlier this year in the case of Steele v. United States that the IRS was charging excessive PTIN fees from fiscal years 2011 to 2017. 

If you prepare, or assist in preparing, federal tax returns for compensation—or are an enrolled agent—you’re required to have a valid preparer tax identification number (PTIN) before preparing returns. 

With 2023 PTIN applications and renewals currently underway, it’s time to either renew your PTIN or get your PTIN. There are a few key procedures to follow. Here are several steps to follow to ensure you have your PTIN, so that you can continue practicing.

Renewing your PTIN

First, let’s start with those who already have an online PTIN account and are ready to renew. 

Renewing your PTIN is an easy process. Here are some simple steps:

  • Log into your account online here.
  • Fill out the online renewal application, ensuring your personal information is correct and answering a few questions. Before doing so, however, review this checklist to make sure you have everything you need to complete the renewal application.
  • Pay the $30.75 fee. This can be done with a debit, credit, or ATM card, or eCheck. Once the application and payment processes, you’ll get confirmation of your PTIN renewal.

Never had a PTIN? Here’s how to get one

If you’ve never had a PTIN, don’t worry because the process is routine. Simply take around 15 minutes to get your PTIN online here, while looking over this checklist to be prepared. Then pay the non-refundable $30.75 and you’re all set!

Prefer to apply or renew offline? Here’s how

If you’d like to apply or renew the old-fashioned way, by paper, that’s okay, too. Access and fill out Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Application. Once submitted, it will take around 4-6 weeks to process. To get specific instructions on how to fill out Form W-12, click here

Once completed, you’ll send the $30.75 to: 

IRS Tax Pro PTIN Processing Center
PO Box 380638
San Antonio, TX 78268

Distinguished opportunity for non-credentialed return preparers

If you don’t have professional credentials or certifications like a CPA or enrolled agent has, there’s still a great opportunity to set yourself apart and be recognized and respected as a tax return preparer. 

You can be a part of the Public Directory of return preparers and access limited representation rights for your clients by pursuing the Annual Filing Season Program. This program distinguishes you as someone who represents a higher level of professionalism—something that will go a long way with your clients by showcasing your value and experience. 

Meet the deadline to renew or obtain your PTIN

With all of the information above, you’re ready to renew or obtain your PTIN for 2023. But don’t put it off! 

All PTINs will expire on Dec. 31, 2022, so make sure you renew or apply as soon as you can, so that you meet the deadline and can continue practicing. 

For more information, visit the IRS page here.

Bryan Cytron
Bryan Cytron

Written by Bryan Cytron

Bryan Cytron is vice president of Cytron and Company. He helps businesses and firms tell their story, build their brand, and grow through top-notch PR, marketing, media relations and communications. This includes websites, blogs, newsletters, social media and more, with a niche in accounting and financial services. More from Bryan Cytron

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