Instructions for Form W-12 - Introductory Material

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Form W-12 and its separate instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to


Annual Filing Season Program.   This voluntary program is designed to encourage unenrolled paid tax return preparers (paid tax return preparers who are not attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs), or enrolled agents (EAs)) to complete continuing education courses for the purpose of increasing their knowledge of the law relevant to federal tax returns. To participate in the program, an individual must obtain a PTIN and meet certain continuing education requirements for a specific tax year.

  For further information regarding the program, visit

Voluntary Inactivating/Reactivating PTIN.   An individual who no longer practices before the IRS and who no longer prepares any federal tax returns for compensation may request his or her PTIN be placed in inactive status at any time. For more information on voluntarily inactivating or reactivating your PTIN, see Voluntarily Inactivate PTIN, later, or review information available at

Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.   The IRS has launched a public listing on the IRS website of PTIN holders who are attorneys, CPAs, EAs, enrolled retirement plan agents, enrolled actuaries, as well as individuals who successfully completed the requirements to participate in the Annual Filing Season Program. The searchable listing includes the individual's name, city, state, and zip code. The city and state of the business address you enter on line 5a of this form will be the address reflected in the online Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications if you meet the qualifications for inclusion. If you have more than one business location, enter your primary business location address. See the line 12 instructions for the definitions of professional credentials and select qualifications, later.

Telephone help.   If you have questions about completing this form or the status of your application or renewal, you may call the following phone numbers. If calling from the United States, call 1-877-613-PTIN (7846). For TTY/TDD assistance, call 1-877-613-3686. If calling internationally, call +1 915-342-5655 (not a toll-free number). Telephone help is generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central time.

Photographs of Missing Children

The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in instructions on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

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