That sigh you just heard? It’s the sound of tax professionals everywhere finally breathing after the IRS issued final regulations requiring paid tax return preparers to register with the IRS to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). The move to PTINs (and associated regs) has been making news for some time now as IRS has been busy trying to figure out the best way to implement a number of new rules related to tax professionals.
The new regulations require paid tax preparers to register online with IRS and obtain a PTIN. Preparers can do this through the IRS website. According to the IRS, those preparers who already have a PTIN will need to reapply under the new system but (shaking head) generally will be reassigned the same number. No, I don’t understand that logic either… unless it’s to collect that $64.25 fee. A portion of that fee ($50) will be used by the IRS to “pay for technology, compliance and outreach efforts associated with the new program.” The remainder goes to a third party vendor.
For more information or tech support, contact the IRS at 1-877-613-PTIN (7846).
If you insist on completing a paper application, you can send in a form W-12 (downloads as a pdf). Expect to wait four to six weeks for a reply.
And please, oh please, let me know how it goes. I have a feeling the IRS will sit tightly on this one.
There’s no word yet on how compliance with the other regulations related to Circular 230 (specifically, continuing education requirements for tax preparers) will shake out. Apparently the IRS is considering broadening the categories of preparers who might be exempt from additional requirements. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear something more concrete – the IRS is promising by year end. This is going to make for an awfully interesting tax prep season…