As a reminder to tax preparers, effective January 1, 2011, all paid preparers – including attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents – of any federal tax return or claim for refund must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). To obtain a PTIN, perform the following four steps.

  1. Create an online account at https://rpr.irs.gov/datamart/login.do
  2. Complete the online PTIN application.
  3. Pay the $64.25 fee.
  4. Receive your newly-issued PTIN immediately upon paying the aforementioned fee.

Before beginning the process, you will need to have the following elements of information available:

  • Social Security Number
  • Personal information (name, mailing address, date of birth)
  • Business information (name, mailing address, telephone number)
  • Previous year's individual tax return (name, address, filing status)
  • Explanations for any felony convictions
  • Explanations for problems with your U.S. individual or corporate tax obligations
  • Credit or debit card for the $64.25 PTIN user fee
  • If applicable, any U.S.-based professional certification information (CPA, attorney, enrolled agent, enrolled retirement plan agent, enrolled actuary, certified acceptance agent, or state license) including certification number and state of issuance

The IRS has produced a video on this subject, which may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn6ilrV_2QU. Additionally, visit www.irs.gov/taxpros for additional information.