If you get paid for preparing tax returns, you probably already know that the Internal Revenue Service requires you to get a Preparers Tax Identification Number. Effective January of 2011 all paid tax preparers must obtain a PTIN or face penalties for not obtaining one.
How to Apply Online for a PTIN
Registering an Account: Before you can apply for a tax preparer’s identification number you must first set up an account with the IRS through the PTIN sign in system. After setting up an account you may proceed with applying online for the PTIN.
Gather the necessary information: There is a checklist of information that you’ll need in order to secure a PTIN. The information required is listed below:
- Social Security number
- Your name mailing address date of birth
- Business information such as the name mailing address phone number etc.
- Listing and explanation of any felony convictions
- Listing and explanation of any problems you have with personal or corporate tax obligations
- Valid credit/debit card for which $64.25 PTIN fee will be charged
- Any US-based certification information, i.e., CPA, attorney, agent license number and state of issuance.
IRS Website: Armed with the necessary information from the checklist, visit the IRS website and click on the Online PTIN Application link. Insert your account’s username and password to access the PTIN application form. Insert the necessary information from the checklist and pay the fee of $64.25.
Review your acceptance letter: After providing the necessary information and paying the fee, you will receive a welcome letter that provides necessary information regarding your PTIN. Depending on whether or not the government has instituted the testing and continuing education requirements (slated to go into effect by the end of 2011), your welcome letter will advise whether or not testing or continuing education credits are required.
File your welcome letter in a safe place for future reference.