How does one apply to be an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) Authorized Acceptance Agent?
An Acceptance Agent is a person or entity registered with the IRS who helps people get an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). Persons ineligible to receive a social security number may obtain an ITIN for tax reporting purposes.
In Drake Tax, this designation is indicated in Setup > preparers by checking the box Acceptance agent and entering your Agent title. When this is marked and a Form W-7 is entered on a return, the Acceptance agent section is auto-filled with the preparer's information. Enter the office code on each Form W-7 by going to the W7 screen > Birth/Other Information tab > Acceptance agent section > Office code box. Note that the boxes above are overrides boxes (these pull from return preparer).
For details about applying for admission into the Acceptance Agent program, see the instructions to Form 13551 and the IRS.GOV "How to Become an Acceptance Agent" page, which summarizes the steps as follows:
"Open Season Timeframe for New Acceptance Agents Applications
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be accepting and processing Forms 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, during open season May 1-August 31 of each year for new and renewing applicants. We will continue to accept amended applications throughout the year.
To ensure that Acceptance Agents have the tools they need to perform their jobs, all new and renewing applicants are required to complete mandatory training. The training session is available online at ITIN AA-CAA Online Pre-Application Training Power Point.
There are four steps that need to be taken by all new and renewing applicants
(Acceptance Agents are required to submit at least 5 applications a year to remain in the program).
- Take the Mandatory Acceptance Agent training.
- Complete the Application Form 13551 (PDF), IRS Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program and attach the fingerprint card (if applicable).
- Attach the certification form for each authorized representative (person listed in block 5 of the application).
- Complete forensic training and submit the certificate of completion to the IRS
Applications received without the certification form will not be processed."
The IRS conducts a suitability background check of applicants. The background check includes an IRS review of the applicant’s tax filing history to ensure compliance with filing and payment requirements. Processing time may be up to four months from the date the application is received by the IRS.