Tax pros should renew PTINs now for the upcoming filing season

IRS Tax Tip 2021-160, October 28, 2021

The IRS reminds all active federal tax return preparers they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN) now for 2022. All current PTINs will expire December 31, 2021.

Anyone who prepares or helps prepare a federal tax return for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS. They need to include the PTIN on any return filed with the IRS. Tax preparers must pay a fee of $35.95 to renew or get a PTIN for 2022. This fee is non-refundable, and preparers must pay the exact amount to complete the PTIN process.

Those with a 2021 PTIN should use the online renewal process. This takes about 15 minutes. Form W-12, along with the instructions PDF, provide a paper option for PTIN applications and renewals. The paper form can take four to six weeks to process. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties.

How to renew a PTIN online:

  • Go to the Tax Professionals page on
  • Select the Renew or Register button.
  • Enter the user ID and password to login to the online PTIN account.
  • Follow the prompts to verify information and answer a few questions

Users will receive confirmation of their PTIN renewal once this process is completed.

Tax preparers can also use the online system to view a summary of the number of tax returns filed using their PTIN and receive secure messages from the IRS Return Preparer Office.

First time PTIN applicants can also apply for a PTIN online.

How to apply for a PTIN online:

  • Go to the Tax Professionals page on
  • Select the Renew or Register button and select "Create Account" in the New User box.
  • First time users are issued a temporary password and will be prompted to change their password when they log in.
  • Select the appropriate "PTIN Sign Up" option.
  • Follow the prompts.

Opportunity for non-credentialed tax preparers

The Annual Filing Season Program is a voluntary IRS program intended to encourage non-credentialed tax return preparers to take continuing education courses to increase their knowledge and improve their filing season readiness.

Those who choose to participate must renew their PTIN, complete 18 hours of continuing education by December 31, 2021, from IRS-approved CE providers, and consent to adhere to specific obligations in Circular 230. The IRS has a video available on how to sign the Circular 230 consent and print the Record of Completion.

After completing the steps, the return preparer receives an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion from the IRS. Program participants are then included in a public directory of return preparers with credentials and select qualifications on the IRS website.

The searchable IRS directory helps taxpayers find preparers in their area who have completed the program or hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS.

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