IR-2020-159, July 15, 2020 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today the annual fee for 2021 that tax return preparers must pay to apply for or renew their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). In final regulations issued today, the IRS set a $21 fee per PTIN application or renewal (plus a $14.95 fee payable to a contractor). Anyone who prepares or substantially helps prepare any federal tax return or claim for refund for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS. The PTIN must be used as the identifying number on returns prepared. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties. The IRS estimates that more than 800,000 tax return preparers will apply for or renew a PTIN this year. The annual renewal of PTINs ensures the IRS has up-to-date identifying information about each return preparer, which is essential for timely communication of important information. The program helps protect both return preparers and taxpayers and prevent the unauthorized use of PTINs. The IRS is required PDF to conduct a biennial review of the PTIN user fee. The agency determined that the full cost to administer the PTIN program going forward is $21 per application or renewal. This amount includes costs relating to PTIN misuse and maintaining the integrity of PTINs. The third-party contractor fee, $14.95, pays for several functions including processing applications, renewals and operating a call center. PTINs expire on December 31 of the year for which they are issued. PTINs generally can be renewed beginning in mid-October and are valid for the following calendar year. A tax return preparer can renew online at www.irs.gov/ptin by logging into the preparer's PTIN account or by submitting a paper Form W-12 with the "Renewal" box checked.