DEFINITION of 'Preparer Tax Identification Number - PTIN '

An Internal Revenue Service requirement implemented in 2011 that requires all paid federal tax return preparers to register with the federal government, and pay a fee to obtain a unique numerical identifier. Preparer tax identification number (PTIN) applicants must provide satisfactory answers to a number of suitability questions, to receive a PTIN. Tax preparers must renew their PTINs each calendar year, and the renewal fee is similar to the registration fee.

BREAKING DOWN 'Preparer Tax Identification Number - PTIN '

In addition to obtaining a PTIN, the IRS requires enrolled agents and registered tax return preparers to pass a test and complete continuing education requirements. These additional requirements do not apply to attorneys and certified public accountants in good standing, or to supervised preparers and non-1040 preparers, whose work is overseen by an enrolled agent, attorney or CPA.

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