It’s time for tax professionals to renew their PTIN

IRS Tax Tip 2020-143, October 27, 2020

The IRS reminds all active tax preparers to start the upcoming 2021 filing season smoothly by renewing their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers now. All current PTINs will expire December 31, 2020.

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 2021. This fee is non-refundable.

Those with a 2020 PTIN should use the online renewal process. This takes about 15 minutes. Form W-12 , along with the instructionsPDF, 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.

More information:

Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips