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What steps are involved in getting a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number)?

Do I have to take a test, take the IRS' Annual Filing Season Program, etc.?

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Gurpreet’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

From my research, it looks like there are no real requirements to obtain a PTIN. All you need to do is:
- Be 18 years or older
- Sign up with the IRS (takes about 15 min)
- Pay roughly $40

There is no test or need to be a part of the Annual Filing Season Program. For more info, look at these two IRS websites:
https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/ptin-requirements-for-tax-return-preparers
https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/understanding-tax-return-preparer-credentials-and-qualifications
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! Genevieve
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Steven’s Answer

You can get the precise instructions at: https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/ptin-requirements-for-tax-return-preparers and can do it all on-line.
You'd be filling out the questions on a W-12 form. If you're starting your own business use your SSN as your Employer Identification Number unless you are going to have employees you will need an EIN (which may be a good idea anyway). If you will file client forms online you will need an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). You may have to upload a jpeg of your ID (Driver's License, Passport, etc.). I'm not sure about this since when I got my PTIN it was 17 years ago. The PTIN fee is $35.95. If you're certified with the California Tax Education Council (CTEC, which is at CTEC,org) you do not need to take another test. I'm retired so read the instructions carefully! Things may have changed.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Steven! Genevieve
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