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11674: The Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) -- Requirements and Software Setup


IRS Info/Alerts

Obtaining and Setting Up a Preparer’s PTIN

A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is an IRS-assigned number that the IRS requires tax preparers to obtain and include in the preparer signature section of returns.

A PTIN may be applied for and renewed annually on the IRS webpage PTIN Requirements for Tax Return Preparers. (On August 22, 2010, the IRS discontinued the paper application process as part of new IRS requirements for tax return preparers who, for compensation, prepare all, or substantially all, of a federal tax return.)

In the software, this information is entered at Setup > PreparersA PTIN is always "P" followed by 8 numbers. Where a zero is indicated, make sure you enter a zero and not the letter “O.” 

Note: There is a fee of $35.95 to obtain or renew a PTIN for 2021.  For 2018-2020, there was not a fee to obtain a PTIN.

The IRS has posted some FAQs regarding PTINs as well: Frequently Asked Questions: Do I Need a PTIN?

PTIN Renewal - Confirming Continuing Education

Go online and renew as soon as possible. Don't wait to try to confirm your CE credits before renewing. During the renewal process, you need only self-certify that the credit was taken or that you intend to complete credits by the end of the year.

  • You can track CE earned online at DrakeCPE.com. (Credit earned for live courses can be tracked only by the preparer.) If you have any questions, contact Drake Support.
  • Drake has reported and will continue to report to the IRS all CE earned this year through Drake.
  • For CE credit for this year, neither the IRS nor Drake will notify you about your CE status or progress. Keep your own records and be assured Drake is timely reporting your CE credit to the IRS.
  • Your IRS PTIN account does not display a record of credits earned in the current calendar year. A listing of credits earned will not take place until next year, at about mid-year. At that time you can view your current-year credits and track your progress using your online PTIN account.

Note: Competency testing and continuing education are impacted by Loving vs. IRS. See IRS Statement on Court Ruling Related to Return Preparers

Additional IRS resources: 


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