Tax pros should remember to renew their PTIN

Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

IRS Tax Tip 2018-178, November 19, 2018

Federal tax return preparers must renew their preparer tax identification numbers for 2019 as all current PTINs will expire Dec. 31, 2018. Here are several facts about PTINs and the PTIN renewal process:

  • Preparers can get started at
  • Anyone who gets paid to prepare or help prepare any federal tax return or claim for refund 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.
  • For those who have a 2018 PTIN, the renewal process takes only a few moments online.
  • Those who cannot remember their user ID and password can find online tools to assist them.
  • If registering for the first time, the PTIN application may also be completed online.
  • There is no fee for getting or renewing a PTIN.
  • Paper Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number Application and Renewal, is available for paper applications and renewals. The paper form takes four to six weeks to process.
  • All enrolled agents, regardless of whether they prepare returns, must renew their PTIN annually in order to maintain their active status.

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