Filing Your Taxes Online is Fast, Easy and Secure.
Start now and receive your tax refund in as little as 7 days.

1. Get Answers

Your online questions are customized to your unique tax situation.

2. Maximize your Refund

Find tax credits for everything from school tuition to buying a hybri

3. E-File for FREE

E-file free with direct deposit to get your refund in as few as 7 days.

Filing your taxes with paper mail can be difficult and it could take weeks for your refund to arrive. IRS e-file is easy, fast and secure. There is no paperwork going to the IRS so tax refunds can be processed in as little as 7 days with direct deposit. As you prepare your taxes online, you can see your tax refund in real time.

FREE audit support and representation from an enrolled agent – NEW and only from H&R Block

Freetaxusa2012

Turbotax Military 2012Can I Use Free File File Last Year TaxesHow To File Past Tax ReturnsWww Irs Gov Form1040a2013 State Income Tax Form1040x Amended Tax Form1040ez Forms2012 Tax Form 1040 EzFree Online 1040ez FilingDownload State Tax Forms FreeCan You File State Taxes For FreeHow To Do Your TaxesFile Taxes Previous YearsTurbo Tax For MilitaryFree Irs FormsE File Tax Extension1040 Es FormFederal Income Tax Rates 2012Irsefile ComFile Taxes Free Federal And State1040esTurbotaxHow To Amend A State Tax ReturnEz 1040 OnlineTurbotax Deluxe Federal E File 2012Filling Out A 1040ezUs Irs E File FreeHow To File Taxes OnlineAdd 1098 T Information 1040x FormFiling An Amended Tax Return For 20111040ez Income Tax FormState Income TaxWww Irs GovFree State FileFree EfileTaxslayer 2011Turbotax Military DiscountFree Internet Tax Filing2011 Irs Form 1040Filing An Amended Tax Return

Freetaxusa2012

Freetaxusa2012 12. Freetaxusa2012   How To Get More Information Table of Contents Internal Revenue ServiceLow Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) Small Business Administration Other Federal Agencies This section describes the help the IRS and other federal agencies offer to taxpayers who operate their own businesses. Freetaxusa2012 Internal Revenue Service Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you. Freetaxusa2012 Free help with your return. Freetaxusa2012   You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. Freetaxusa2012 The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. Freetaxusa2012 The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Freetaxusa2012 Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. Freetaxusa2012 In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. Freetaxusa2012 To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887. Freetaxusa2012   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. Freetaxusa2012 To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www. Freetaxusa2012 aarp. Freetaxusa2012 org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. Freetaxusa2012 For more information on these programs, go to IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. Freetaxusa2012 Internet. Freetaxusa2012    IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Freetaxusa2012 Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Freetaxusa2012 Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs. Freetaxusa2012 Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. Freetaxusa2012 The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Freetaxusa2012 Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. Freetaxusa2012 You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Freetaxusa2012 The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. Freetaxusa2012 Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to research your tax questions. Freetaxusa2012 No need to wait on the phone or stand in line. Freetaxusa2012 The ITA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides you with a variety of tax information related to general filing topics, deductions, credits, and income. Freetaxusa2012 When you reach the response screen, you can print the entire interview and the final response for your records. Freetaxusa2012 New subject areas are added on a regular basis. Freetaxusa2012  Answers not provided through ITA may be found in Tax Trails, one of the Tax Topics on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov which contain general individual and business tax information or by searching the IRS Tax Map, which includes an international subject index. Freetaxusa2012 You can use the IRS Tax Map, to search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. Freetaxusa2012 The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. Freetaxusa2012 When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics. Freetaxusa2012 Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. Freetaxusa2012 You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. Freetaxusa2012 Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. Freetaxusa2012 Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years. Freetaxusa2012 Determine if you are eligible for the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant. Freetaxusa2012 Visit Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter to get answers to questions about a notice or letter you received from the IRS. Freetaxusa2012 If you received the First Time Homebuyer Credit, you can use the First Time Homebuyer Credit Account Look-up tool for information on your repayments and account balance. Freetaxusa2012 Check the status of your amended return using Where's My Amended Return? Go to IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box. Freetaxusa2012 You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. Freetaxusa2012 It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. Freetaxusa2012 Make a payment using one of several safe and convenient electronic payment options available on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov. Freetaxusa2012 Select the Payment tab on the front page of IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov for more information. Freetaxusa2012 Determine if you are eligible and apply for an online payment agreement, if you owe more tax than you can pay today. Freetaxusa2012 Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov. Freetaxusa2012 Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld. Freetaxusa2012 Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov. Freetaxusa2012 Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box. Freetaxusa2012 Download forms, instructions and publications, including accessible versions for people with disabilities. Freetaxusa2012 Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. Freetaxusa2012 An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Freetaxusa2012 Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. Freetaxusa2012 If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. Freetaxusa2012 Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. Freetaxusa2012 Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Freetaxusa2012 Go to IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box. Freetaxusa2012 Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. Freetaxusa2012 Read Internal Revenue Bulletins. Freetaxusa2012 Sign up to receive local and national tax news and more by email. Freetaxusa2012 Just click on “subscriptions” above the search box on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov and choose from a variety of options. Freetaxusa2012    Phone. Freetaxusa2012 You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. Freetaxusa2012 Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Freetaxusa2012 Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887 or you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov, or download the IRS2Go app. Freetaxusa2012 Low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Freetaxusa2012 The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Freetaxusa2012 Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. Freetaxusa2012 Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. Freetaxusa2012 Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. Freetaxusa2012 Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. Freetaxusa2012 If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. Freetaxusa2012 The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Freetaxusa2012 Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Freetaxusa2012 Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. Freetaxusa2012 The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. Freetaxusa2012 Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. Freetaxusa2012 Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return. Freetaxusa2012 Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. Freetaxusa2012 You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. Freetaxusa2012 It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. Freetaxusa2012 Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). Freetaxusa2012 You should receive your order within 10 business days. Freetaxusa2012 Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. Freetaxusa2012 If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040. Freetaxusa2012 Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. Freetaxusa2012 The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. Freetaxusa2012 These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service. Freetaxusa2012    Walk-in. Freetaxusa2012 You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person. Freetaxusa2012 Products. Freetaxusa2012 You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Freetaxusa2012 Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs. Freetaxusa2012 Services. Freetaxusa2012 You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. Freetaxusa2012 An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Freetaxusa2012 Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided. Freetaxusa2012    Mail. Freetaxusa2012 You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. Freetaxusa2012 You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. Freetaxusa2012  Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Freetaxusa2012 Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613    The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. Freetaxusa2012 The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Freetaxusa2012 Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights. Freetaxusa2012   What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. Freetaxusa2012 We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. Freetaxusa2012 You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. Freetaxusa2012 You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised. Freetaxusa2012   If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. Freetaxusa2012 Here's why we can help: TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. Freetaxusa2012 Our advocates know how to work with the IRS. Freetaxusa2012 Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs. Freetaxusa2012 We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Freetaxusa2012   How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. Freetaxusa2012   How else does TAS help taxpayers?  TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. Freetaxusa2012 If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System. Freetaxusa2012 Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. Freetaxusa2012 Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Freetaxusa2012 Visit Taxpayer Advocate or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. Freetaxusa2012 Small Business Administration The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers training and educational programs, counseling services, financial programs, and contract assistance for small business owners. Freetaxusa2012 The SBA also has publications and videos on a variety of business topics. Freetaxusa2012 The following briefly describes assistance provided by the SBA. Freetaxusa2012 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Freetaxusa2012   SBDCs provide counseling, training, and technical services to current and prospective small business owners who cannot afford the services of a private consultant. Freetaxusa2012 Help is available when beginning, improving, or expanding a small business. Freetaxusa2012 Business Information Centers (BICs). Freetaxusa2012   BICs offer a small business reference library, management video tapes, and computer technology to help plan a business. Freetaxusa2012 BICs also offer one-on-one assistance. Freetaxusa2012 Individuals who are in business or are interested in starting a business can use BICs as often as they wish at no charge. Freetaxusa2012 Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Freetaxusa2012   SCORE provides small business counseling and training to current and prospective small business owners. Freetaxusa2012 SCORE is made up of current and former business people who offer their expertise and knowledge to help people start, manage, and expand a small business. Freetaxusa2012 SCORE also offers a variety of small business workshops. Freetaxusa2012 Internet. Freetaxusa2012    You can visit the SBA website at www. Freetaxusa2012 sba. Freetaxusa2012 gov. Freetaxusa2012 While visiting the SBA website, you can find a variety of information of interest to small business owners. Freetaxusa2012 Phone. Freetaxusa2012    Call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722) for general information about programs available to assist small business owners. Freetaxusa2012 Walk-in. Freetaxusa2012   You can walk in to a Small Business Development Center or Business Information Center to request assistance with your small business. Freetaxusa2012 To find the location nearest you, visit the SBA website or call the SBA Answer Desk. Freetaxusa2012 Other Federal Agencies Other federal agencies also publish publications and pamphlets to assist small businesses. Freetaxusa2012 Most of these are available from the Superintendent of Documents at the Government Printing Office. Freetaxusa2012 You can get information and order these publications and pamphlets in several ways. Freetaxusa2012 Internet. Freetaxusa2012   You can visit the GPO website at  www. Freetaxusa2012 access. Freetaxusa2012 gpo. Freetaxusa2012 gov. Freetaxusa2012 Mail. Freetaxusa2012   Write to the GPO at the following address. Freetaxusa2012  Superintendent of Documents U. Freetaxusa2012 S. Freetaxusa2012 Government Printing Office P. Freetaxusa2012 O. Freetaxusa2012 Box 979050 St. Freetaxusa2012 Louis, MO 63917-9000 Phone. Freetaxusa2012   Call the GPO toll-free at 1-866-512-1800 or at 202-512-1800 from the Washington, DC, area. Freetaxusa2012 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
Print - Click this link to Print this page

Frequently Asked Questions: Do I Need a PTIN?

a. General Guidance

b. PTIN Scenarios

c. Supervised, Non-Signing, and Non-1040 Preparers

d. SSN Requirements for Obtaining a PTIN


a. General Guidance


1. Who needs a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)? (revised 2/22/12)

A PTIN must be obtained by all enrolled agents, as well as all tax return preparers who are compensated for preparing, or assisting in the preparation of, all or substantially all of any U.S. federal tax return, claim for refund, or other tax form submitted to the IRS except the following:

Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number;
Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding;
Form SS-16, Certificate of Election of Coverage under FICA;
Form W-2 series of returns;
Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number;
Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding;
Form 870, Waiver of Restrictions on Assessment and Collection of Deficiency in Tax and Acceptance of Overassessment;
Form 872, Consent to Extend the Time to Assess Tax;
Form 906, Closing Agreement On Final Determination Covering Specific Matters;
Form 1098 series;
Form 1099 series;
Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative;
Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method;
Form 4029, Application for Exemption From Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Waiver of Benefits;
Form 4361, Application for Exemption From Self-Employment Tax for Use by Ministers, Members of Religious Orders and Christian Science Practitioners;
Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically;
Form 5300, Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan;
Form 5307, Application for Determination for Adopters of Master or Prototype or Volume Submitter Plans;
Form 5310, Application for Determination for Terminating Plan;
Form 5500 series;
Form 8027, Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips;
Form 8288-A, Statement of Withholding on Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests;
Form 8288-B, Application for Withholding Certificate for Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests;
Form 8508, Request for Waiver From Filing Information Returns Electronically;
Form 8717, User Fee for Employee Plan Determination, Opinion, and Advisory Letter Request;
Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Return;
Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization;
Form 8942, Application for Certification of Qualified Investments Eligible for Credits and Grants Under the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program

Refer to the scenarios for additional guidance.

2. Are individuals who are active attorneys and certified public accountants required to obtain a PTIN if they do not prepare all or substantially all of any tax return? (revised 2/22/12)

Attorneys and certified public accountants do not need to obtain a PTIN unless they prepare for compensation all or substantially all of a federal tax return or claim for refund.

3. Are enrolled retirement plan agents required to obtain a PTIN? (posted 11/4/11)

Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents are only required to obtain a PTIN if they prepare or assist in the preparation of all or substantially all of any tax return or claim for refund that is not on the list of forms exempt from the PTIN requirement. ERPAs that prepare only Form 5300 or 5500 series returns are not required to obtain a PTIN. See Notice 2011-91 for more information.

4. Can multiple individuals or one office share one PTIN? (revised 6/9/11)

No, every individual who, for compensation, prepares or assists in the preparation of a tax return or claim for refund must have his or her own PTIN and each tax return preparer may only obtain one PTIN.

5. If I don't have a PTIN, can I still prepare tax returns for compensation? (revised 10/10/13)

No. You must have a PTIN to prepare tax returns for compensation. 

6. Is there an age requirement for obtaining a PTIN? (posted 9/30/10)

Yes, applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

7. What penalties can be imposed against tax return preparers who don't have a current PTIN? (revised 2/22/12)

Failure to have a current PTIN could result in the imposition of Internal Revenue Code section 6695 penalties, injunction, and/or disciplinary action by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.

8. What is the difference between a PTIN and an EFIN? Does a preparer need both? (revised 2/22/12)

A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is a number issued by the IRS to paid tax return preparers. It is used as the tax return preparer’s identification number and, when applicable, must be placed in the Paid Preparer section of a tax return that the tax return preparer prepared for compensation. There is an initial fee of $64.25 and an annual renewal fee of $63.00.

An Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) is a number issued by the IRS to individuals or firms that have been approved as authorized IRS e-file providers.  It is included with all electronic return data transmitted to the IRS.  There is no fee for an EFIN.

Preparer Tax Identification Numbers are issued to individuals.  Electronic Filing Identification Numbers are issued to individuals or firms.  Most preparers need both.

9. If an employee of a business prepares the business’ tax returns as part of their job responsibilities, do they need to obtain a PTIN? (revised 9/28/10)

No. An employee who prepares his employer’s federal tax returns is not required to sign as a paid preparer. Accordingly, unless the employee prepares other federal tax returns for compensation, he or she is not required to register and obtain a PTIN.

10. Are e-file transmitters or intermediate service providers that do not prepare returns subject to the PTIN requirements? (revised 9/28/10)

No. E-file providers that assist in the formatting and transmission of tax returns electronically, but do not prepare all or substantially all of a federal tax return or claim for refund for compensation, are not required to obtain a PTIN.

11. Will the IRS share my PTIN application information with other people? (revised 4/19/12)

The law allows vendors and others to obtain the PTIN holder listing. PTIN holders are not allowed to opt out of the disclosure of their contact information because Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws make the information public. If you receive unwanted email solicitations due to this required disclosure, the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection can best advise you whether an email violates the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and how to report violations.

You should also review the PTIN application Privacy Policy.

In order to maintain privacy PTIN holders may want to review and/or update contact information


b. PTIN Scenarios


1. I am a tax return preparer, and I have a PTIN.  My firm employs a bookkeeper.  She gathers client receipts and invoices, and organizes and records all information for me.  Although I use the information that our bookkeeper has compiled, I prepare my clients’ tax returns and make all substantive determinations that go into computing the tax liability.  Does my bookkeeper need to have a PTIN? (posted 9/28/10)

No, she is not a tax return preparer, and is not required to have a PTIN.

2. I am a tax return preparer, and I have a PTIN.  Every tax filing season I hire two paid interns from the accounting program at a local college to help me during the busy season.  The interns perform data entry from the tax organizer that my clients fill out, and assemble the documentation that the clients have submitted.  Where clients have submitted incomplete information, or more information is needed, the interns may call clients to gather information missing from the tax organizer, but they are not allowed to provide advice or answer tax law questions.  I prepare and sign all my clients’ returns.  Do my interns need to have a PTIN?  (posted 9/28/10)

No, the interns are not tax return preparers, and are not required to have a PTIN.

3. Same facts as above, but in order to help my interns get exposure to the tax system, I allow them to work with clients who have very simple tax situations, and prepare the Form 1040-EZ.  I review the forms carefully, and sign them.  Are my interns required to have PTINs? (posted 9/28/10)

Yes, the interns are tax return preparers and are required to have a PTIN, whether or not they sign the returns.

4. I am a tax return preparer, and I have a PTIN.  I have an administrative assistant in the office who also performs data entry during tax filing season.  At times, clients call and provide him with information, which he records in the system.  Using the data he has entered, I meet with my clients and provide advice as needed.   I then prepare and sign their returns.  Is my administrative assistant required to have a PTIN? posted 9/28/10)

No, the administrative assistant is not a tax return preparer, and is not required to have a PTIN.

5. I am a retired tax professional, and I volunteer during the tax filing season.  I volunteer at a VITA site, where I prepare individual tax returns for lower-income individuals for no compensation.  Do I need to have a PTIN? (revised 10/10/13)

No, you are not required to have a PTIN.

6. I run a small tax return preparation business that is heavily software-based.  I employ four associates who sit with taxpayers and walk through a step-by-step software program that uses an “interview” process that results in a draft tax return.  I check and sign the returns, and I have a PTIN.  Do my four associates need to have a PTIN? (posted 9/28/10)

You will need to perform additional analysis to determine whether your four associates must have a PTIN.  The answer depends on the specific circumstances of your firm.  In general, if individuals prepare, or assist in preparing, all or substantially all of a tax return, including making determinations that affect tax liability, they must have a PTIN.

7. I am a reporting agent who prepares Forms 94X series returns for my clients for compensation.  I do not exercise any discretion or independent judgment on my client's underlying tax positions and I do not render tax advice to any of my clients.  Do I need a PTIN?  (revised 1/3/11)

No.  The PTIN regulations incorporate the carve-out from the definition of tax return preparer in Treasury Regulation section 301.7701–15(f) for individuals who provide only typing, reproduction, or other mechanical assistance in the preparation of a return or claim for refund.  Example one under Treasury Regulation section 301.7701-15(f)(6) provides that reporting agents who do not exercise any discretion or independent judgment on the client's underlying tax positions and who do not render tax advice to any clients are carved-out under this exception and, therefore, are not tax return preparers.

8. I am a reporting agent who prepares Forms 94X series returns for my clients for compensation.  On occasion, my clients ask me for assistance with issues such as determining whether their workers are employees or independent contractors for federal tax purposes.  Do I need a PTIN? (revised 1/3/11)

Yes.  The PTIN regulations require all tax return preparers who are compensated for preparing, or assisting in the preparation of, all or substantially all of a tax return or claim for refund of tax to register and obtain a PTIN.  The carve-out from the definition of tax return preparer for individuals who provide only typing, reproduction, or other mechanical assistance in the preparation of a return or claim for refund does not apply to reporting agents who render tax advice to any client (example two under Treasury Regulation section 301.7701-15(f)(6)).

9. I am a retirement plan administrator who prepares Forms 5500 and the accompanying schedules for my clients. I also prepare Forms 8955-SSA and Form 5558 for my clients. While the Form 5500 series returns are included in the list of forms exempted from the PTIN requirements in Notice 2011-6, the Forms 8955-SSA and Forms 5558 are not included in that list. Am I required to obtain a PTIN? (posted 3/4/11)

No. The Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Participants, and Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, are, for purposes of Notice 2011-6, part of the "Form 5500 series" of tax returns inasmuch as these forms are prepared either in conjunction with the filing of a retirement plan's Form 5500 filing or to request an extension of time to file a Form 5500 series tax return.

10. Is an attorney or a certified public accountant required to obtain a PTIN if the attorney or certified public accountant only advises a client regarding an issue that is reflected on a claim for refund? (posted 3/4/11)

An attorney or certified public accountant is required to obtain a PTIN if the attorney or certified public accountant prepares, or assists in preparing, all or substantially all of a return or claim for refund. Under the authority of section 1.6109-2(h), however, an attorney or certified public accountant will not be required to obtain a PTIN if the attorney or certified public accountant only advises a client regarding an issue that is reflected on a claim for refund and neither the attorney or certified public accountant nor any person in the firm of the attorney or certified public accountant signs or is required to sign the claim for refund under Treasury Regulation sections 301.7701-15(b)(1) and 1.6695-1(b). The attorney or certified public accountant in question is still a nonsigning tax return preparer subject to penalty under section 6694 if the attorney or certified public accountant has prepared all or a substantial portion of the claim for refund within the meaning of Treasury Regulation section 301.7701-15(b)(3).

11. Our company prepares Forms 2290 for our clients.  It is the only federal tax form we prepare.  Are our employees subject to any of the new regulations? (revised 2/7/13)

Yes, any individual who receives compensation for preparing Forms 2290 is required to register with the IRS and obtain a PTIN.

12. If someone only prepares or assists with preparing Form 1023 for compensation, should they obtain a PTIN? (posted 3/7/12)
 
Generally yes.  More information about PTIN requirements for preparers of exempt organization forms is available here


c. Supervised, Non-Signing, and Non-1040 Preparers


1.  What is a supervised preparer?  Do supervised preparers need a PTIN? (revised 2/7/13)

A supervised preparer is a non-signing preparer who is employed by a law firm, CPA firm or other recognized firm (a firm that is at least 80 percent owned by attorneys, CPAs, or enrolled agents).  The returns they prepare are signed by a supervising attorney, CPA or enrolled agent at the firm. 

A supervised preparer does need a PTIN and must provide their supervisor’s PTIN on their PTIN application or renewal.

Additional guidance on supervised preparers is available in Notice 2011-6 (or view the Fact Sheet).

2. I own a tax preparation business and I review and sign all the returns my employees prepare.  Do they need PTINs?  (revised 2/7/13)

Yes.  Anyone you hire to prepare tax returns needs a PTIN regardless of whether you review and sign the returns.

3. What are the requirements for people who prepare returns other than the Form 1040 series? (revised 2/7/13)

Non-1040 preparers generally need a PTIN.  For exemptions to the PTIN requirement, see FAQ 1 at the top of this page under General Guidance

4. When multiple paid preparers are involved in preparation and/or review of a return, who is required to sign the return?  (posted 8/11/10)

Existing Treasury regulations under sections 1.6695-1(b) and 301.7701-15(b)(1) provide that a signing tax return preparer is the individual tax return preparer who has the primary responsibility for the overall accuracy of the preparation of a return.  The PTIN requirements, which require all preparers to register and obtain a PTIN, do not change the existing rules regarding who is the signing tax return preparer.

5. Are non-signing preparers disclosed on each return prepared even if another preparer reviews and signs it? (revised 2/7/13)

No, the names of non-signing preparers are not disclosed on the return.  Although there is no plan to expand the paid preparer section of the return to include non-signing preparers, they still are required to have a PTIN.

6. If I don't prepare any Form 1040 returns but prepare returns that flow-through to Forms 1040 such as Schedules K-1 for Forms 1065 or 1120S, how do I answer the question, &quotDo you prepare Form 1040 series tax returns?&quot (posted 10/12/11)
 
You should answer &quotno&quot.


d. SSN Requirements for Obtaining a PTIN


1. Is a social security number required to obtain a PTIN? (revised 4/13/11)

Individuals generally are required to provide their social security numbers when they obtain a PTIN.  However, U.S. citizens who have a conscientious objection to obtaining a social security number for religious reasons and foreign persons who are not eligible to obtain a social security number and have a permanent non-U.S. address may obtain a PTIN without a social security number.  These individuals are required to provide supplemental documentation to verify their identity and substantiate their eligibility for a PTIN under these specific exceptions.  See questions 2 and 3 below or Revenue Procedure 2010-41 for additional guidance.

Individuals who have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are not eligible for a PTIN unless they are foreign persons with a permanent non-U.S. address, and can provide documentation to support that status.

2. How do U.S. citizens without a social security number due to a conscientious objection for religious reasons obtain a PTIN? (updated 3/21/14)

U.S. citizens who have a conscientious objection to obtaining a social security number for religious reasons must complete Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Application, either online or on paper, and a paper Form 8945, PTIN Supplemental Application For U.S. Citizens Without a Social Security Number Due To Conscientious Religious Objection.

Documentation to substantiate identity, U.S. citizenship, and status as a member of a recognized religious group must accompany the Form 8945.  Documentation requirements and mailing information are included in the Form 8945 instructions. Allow 4-6 weeks to process your PTIN application.

3. How do foreign preparers without a social security number obtain a PTIN? (updated 3/21/14)

A foreign preparer who does not have and is not eligible to obtain a social security number and is neither a citizen of the U.S. nor a resident alien of the U.S. as defined in section 7701(b)(1)(A) will need to complete the Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Application, either online or on paper, and a paper Form 8946, PTIN Supplemental Application For Foreign Persons Without a Social Security Number. Only preparers that have a foreign (non-U.S.) address may file this form.

Individuals who have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are not eligible for a PTIN unless they are foreign persons with a permanent non-U.S. address.

Documentation to substantiate identity and eligibility must accompany the Form 8946. Documentation requirements and mailing information are included in the Form 8946 instructions.

Allow 4-6 weeks to process your PTIN application.  

4. I have a social security number, but have not filed an income tax return with the IRS. My individual income tax returns were filed with the Departamento de Hacienda (Puerto Rico). How do I obtain a PTIN? (updated 3/21/2014)

A Puerto Rican resident who has never filed a U.S. individual income tax return must submit a paper Form W-12 PTIN application. Ensure the address on Line 15 of the Form W-12 matches the information from your Hacienda tax return information. 

Include the following with your W-12 application:

  • Check or money order for $64.25 (make payable to IRS Tax Pro PTIN Fee)  
  • An original, certified, or notarized copy of your social security card along with one other government issued document that contains a current photo ID. Examples of acceptable supporting documents are listed below. All documents must be a current original, certified, or notarized and must verify your name. Refer to Form W-12 instructions for complete information regarding acceptable supporting documentation and application requirements.
    Examples of acceptable supporting documents:
    - Passport/Passport Card
    - Driver's License
    - U.S. State ID Card
    - Military ID Card
    - National ID card

Return to Return Preparer Program FAQs

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Mar-2014

The Freetaxusa2012

Freetaxusa2012 Publication 939 - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Future developments. Freetaxusa2012 IntroductionSimplified Method. Freetaxusa2012 Ordering forms and publications. Freetaxusa2012 Tax questions. Freetaxusa2012 Useful Items - You may want to see: What's New Beginning in 2013, distributions from an annuity under a nonqualified plan are considered net investment income for the purpose of figuring the net investment income tax (NIIT). Freetaxusa2012 For more information, see the instructions for Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax – Individuals, Estates and Trusts. Freetaxusa2012 Future developments. Freetaxusa2012 For the latest information about developments related to Publication 939, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. Freetaxusa2012 IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov/pub939. Freetaxusa2012 Introduction This publication gives you the information you need to determine the tax treatment of your pension and annuity income under the General Rule. Freetaxusa2012 Generally, each of your monthly annuity payments is made up of two parts: the tax-free part that is a return of your net cost, and the taxable balance. Freetaxusa2012 What is the General Rule. Freetaxusa2012   The General Rule is one of the two methods used to figure the tax-free part of each annuity payment based on the ratio of your investment in the contract to the total expected return. Freetaxusa2012 The other method is the Simplified Method, which is discussed in Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income. Freetaxusa2012 Who must use the General Rule. Freetaxusa2012   Use this publication if you receive pension or annuity payments from: A nonqualified plan (for example, a private annuity, a purchased commercial annuity, or a nonqualified employee plan), A qualified plan if: Your annuity starting date is before November 19, 1996 (and after July 1, 1986), and you do not qualify to use, or did not choose to use, the Simplified Method, or Your annuity starting date is after November 18, 1996, and as of that date you are age 75 or over and the annuity payments are guaranteed for at least 5 years. Freetaxusa2012 If your annuity starting date was between July 1, 1986 and November 19, 1996, you were able to elect to use the Simplified Method or the General Rule. Freetaxusa2012 This choice is irrevocable and applied to all later annuity payments. Freetaxusa2012 The following are qualified plans. Freetaxusa2012 A qualified employee plan. Freetaxusa2012 A qualified employee annuity. Freetaxusa2012 A tax-sheltered annuity (TSA) plan or contract. Freetaxusa2012 Simplified Method. Freetaxusa2012   If you receive pension or annuity payments from a qualified plan and you are not required to use the General Rule, you must use the Simplified Method to determine the tax-free part of each annuity payment. Freetaxusa2012 This method is described in Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income. Freetaxusa2012   Also, if, at the time the annuity payments began, you were at least age 75 and were entitled to annuity payments from a qualified plan with fewer than 5 years of guaranteed payments, you must use the Simplified Method. Freetaxusa2012 Beginning in 2013, distributions from an annuity under a nonqualified plan are considered net investment income for the purpose of figuring the net investment income tax (NIIT). Freetaxusa2012 For more information, see the instructions for Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax – Individuals, Estates and Trusts. Freetaxusa2012 Topics not covered in this publication. Freetaxusa2012   Certain topics related to pensions and annuities are not covered in this publication. Freetaxusa2012 They include: Simplified Method. Freetaxusa2012 This method is covered in Publication 575. Freetaxusa2012 That publication also covers nonperiodic payments (amounts not received as an annuity) from a qualified pension or annuity plan, rollovers, special averaging and capital gain treatment of lump-sum distributions, and special additional taxes on early distributions, excess distributions, and excess accumulations (not making required minimum distributions). Freetaxusa2012 Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). Freetaxusa2012 Information on the tax treatment of amounts you receive from an IRA is included in Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs). Freetaxusa2012 Life insurance payments. Freetaxusa2012 If you receive life insurance payments because of the death of the insured person, get Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, for information on the tax treatment of the proceeds. Freetaxusa2012 Help from IRS. Freetaxusa2012   If, after reading this publication, you need help to figure the taxable part of your pension or annuity, the IRS can do it for you for a fee. Freetaxusa2012 For information on this service, see Requesting a Ruling on Taxation of Annuity , later. Freetaxusa2012 Comments and suggestions. Freetaxusa2012   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Freetaxusa2012   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Freetaxusa2012 NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Freetaxusa2012 Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Freetaxusa2012   You can send your comments from www. Freetaxusa2012 irs. Freetaxusa2012 gov/formspubs/. Freetaxusa2012 Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications”. Freetaxusa2012   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. Freetaxusa2012 Ordering forms and publications. Freetaxusa2012   Visit www. Freetaxusa2012 irs. Freetaxusa2012 gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Freetaxusa2012 Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Freetaxusa2012 Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Freetaxusa2012   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Freetaxusa2012 gov or call 1-800-829-1040. Freetaxusa2012 We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Freetaxusa2012 Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 524 Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income 571 Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans (403(b) Plans) 575 Pension and Annuity Income 590 Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) 721 Tax Guide to U. Freetaxusa2012 S. Freetaxusa2012 Civil Service Retirement Benefits 910 Guide To Free Tax Services Form (and Instructions) 1099-R Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. Freetaxusa2012 See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting these publications and forms. Freetaxusa2012 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications