If you’re a paid tax preparer and haven’t already done so, now is the time to submit applications and renewals for your PTIN. The IRS recently released information, including an audio troubleshooting video, designed to help tax professionals complete this important requirement with little time and energy.
It can be accomplished by completing three simple steps:
- Login to your PTIN account (or register for a new one).
- Complete the online renewal application which requires the verification of personal information.
- Pay the $63 renewal fee online using a credit or debit card.
You can also fulfil this requirement using a hardcopy form that can be mailed directly to the IRS for processing.
Annual Filing Season Program
The IRS is encouraging non-credentialed tax preparers to increase their level of professionalism by obtaining continuing education credits. Tax preparers become eligible for the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) by obtaining 18 hours of continuing education which includes a six-hour federal tax law refresher course with test. All those who received an AFSP Record of Completion from the IRS will be included in a public database of return preparers the IRS will launch in January 2015.
Those who passed the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) test offered between November 2011 and January 2013 must fulfill the 15-hour CE requirement each year to secure an AFSP—Record of Completion. According to the IRS press release, “Those who passed the RTRP test and certain other recognized national and state tests are exempt from the six-hour federal tax law refresher course with test.”
With programs such as these, the IRS continues to encourage paid tax preparers to increase their professionalism by investing in continuing education. Also, changes in the representation rights of return preparers will change come 2016. At that time:
Attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents will continue to be the only tax professionals with unlimited representation rights, meaning they can represent their clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues, and appeals.
AFSP participants will have limited representation rights, meaning they can represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
PTIN holders without an AFSP – Record of Completion or other professional credential will only be permitted to prepare tax returns. They will not be allowed to represent clients before the IRS.
For more information, visit the official IRS website.
Universal Accounting Helps Tax Preparers Succeed
At Universal, we also believe it’s important to prepare for the future, and we’re interested in seeing your future success as a tax preparer. Our Professional Tax Preparer Program is designed to help professionals like you master tax preparation, becoming efficient in the completion of individual and business returns. If you would like to learn more, visit Universal for a free video today!
–. “New! Annual Filing Season Program.” IRS.gov
–. “PTIN Requirements for Tax Return Preparers.” IRS.gov